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Friday, September 24, 2010

San Francisco Alcohol Fee Vetoed

Every year cities around the country pay quite a lot for indigent alcoholics who need medical services, such as ambulance trips, hospital care, prevention programs, and a sobering center. The city of San Francisco had proposed a tax on alcohol distribution companies, while they are making millions of dollars on the suffering of others taxpayers' money is going to helping alcoholics when they need medical help. It makes sense that alcohol wholesalers and distributor companies should pay for the people who they helped on the road to sickness. Alcohol is a destructive substance that people get rich from while others are dying and it should not fall on taxpayers to take care of. However, San Francisco's Mayor, Gavin Newsom, vetoed the proposed fee on alcohol distribution, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Sept. 22.

The city’s Board of Supervisors had approved the proposal, but unfortunately, there just were not enough votes to overturn the Mayor's veto. The proposed fee could have brought the city estimated $16 million annually for: emergency services, treatment programs, and arrests related to alcohol consumption. The fee made sense, alcohol distribution companies would have hardly been affected - alcohol is a billion dollar industry.

The mayor opposed the alcohol fee because he thought that it would stifle jobs, interfere with the state’s authority to regulate alcohol, and cost the city money in lawsuits he said he didn’t think it would win. "You don't help the city's general fund by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a lawsuit we're going to lose", Newsom claimed. Fortunately, this may go to the voters to decide according to Supervisor John Avalos, who wrote the legislation, "There's a lot of people who think this a good idea". More money to help people free themselves from addiction is always a good thing and in the long run it would help cities clean up the streets raising the quality of life for citizens.

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