When the Arizona state legislature recently adopted an anti-immigrant law, the Board of Supervisors called for a boycott of the state, and Mayor Newsom placed a moratorium on city workers traveling to Arizona on official business.
San Francisco’s officials were justified in voicing their opposition – the Arizona ordinance singles out non-residents for discrimination, and by its nature unduly burdens a particular segment of the resident population, namely Hispanics, who are more likely to be questioned by police officers as potentially “illegal” immigrants.
But is San Francisco itself any less officially intolerant of outsiders? Or does our city government simply single out different groups of outsiders for discrimination?
Like a law targeting non-residents for arrest and deportation, a hotel tax is attractive to politicians because its main victims can’t vote against their oppressors. Naturally, most hotel guests come from outside the area.
Proposition J would add to San Francisco’s already high hotel tax, raising the total confiscation level to a whopping 16%.
Like Arizona’s unfair SB 1070, Proposition J also unduly burdens a segment of the resident population, namely anyone in the hospitality industry and anyone whose business or job relies on tourist income.
Because this tax is going to keep more tourists away from San Francisco. No question about it. In economic terms, when you tax something you get less of it.
Which makes it not only intolerant of outsiders, but frankly a pretty stupid and shortsighted move when you consider how important tourism is to San Francisco’s economy. One could say the same about Arizona’s official attitude toward Mexicans, given the state’s location on the Mexican border.
Please join San Franciscans who want our city to be a tolerant and welcoming place in voting NO on Prop. J.