Well read the news and turn the pages, comes today an opinion piece from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, appropriately titled “Gavin Newsom says budget challenge goes beyond City Hall.” It’s all about typically political choices regarding the allocation of scarce resources and arguments concerning elasticities of demand, blah blah blah. Fine. But here’s the thing:
“Consider the hurried proposal from the Board of Supervisors to raise the sales tax: If San Francisco raises the sales tax and South San Francisco does not, then we face the serious risk of large employers and tax generators, like auto dealers and major retailers, moving a few miles south.”
Just don’t know where to begin with that one.
Wherever you buy your car, power it with grease (pictured, in the bottle) or biodiesel, something like that:
Yes, car dealers are affected by local sales tax rates, but no, not in the way the writer of that statement apparently believes. ‘Cause if you think you can escape San Francisco County’s (purported, current or future) high, high tax rates by buying your new car outside of the City and County, you are mistaken. Just try it sometime, and you’ll see.
Of course Auto Row and the rest of San Francisco’s new car dealerships are hurting these days, no doubt, but it’s not because of geographic tax differentials.