San Franciscans are united in our optimism and support for economic growth, according to the CityBeat Poll released by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce earlier this week. This united vision bodes well for the city, and gives insight into what we may expect to see at the ballot box this November.
According to the poll conducted among 500 city voters, 58 percent of San Franciscans believe the city is going in the right direction, double the amount from just two years ago. Voters are generally pleased with the performance of elected city leaders, giving high marks to Mayor Ed Lee, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and other public officials. More residents than not believe the quality of life is getting better in their neighborhoods.
Despite this rosy outlook however, voters remain concerned about the economy, ranking it as the second biggest issue facing the city following only homelessness and panhandling. In fact, only 26 percent of voters feel the economy has improved since last year, while 45 percent believe it is worse.
With such widespread concern over economic conditions, it should come as no surprise that voters largely support reforms to incentivize job growth. On the heels of two very targeted payroll tax exemptions passed last year for pre-IPO technology firms and companies located in the Mid-Market area, 61 percent of voters say they would support a broader payroll tax exemption for businesses creating new jobs anywhere in the city. Fifty-seven percent would support an overall payroll tax decrease as long as the lost revenue can be made up through other sources.
Voters are also resistant to new and increased taxes and fees. In fact, voters opposed six of the seven revenue measures polled including: a one-half percent sales tax increase, a parking tax increase, new taxes on commercial rents and residential utility users and restoring the vehicle license fee.
With the ballot measure submission date for the November election quickly approaching, the CityBeat Poll results remind us of our shared priorities and provide a glimpse of what may be to come. San Francisco’s businesses, government, labor communities and residents are united in our support for economic growth, our commitment to our city and our optimism for the future. Now is the time to think big to create lasting economic prosperity in our city. The CityBeat Poll was conducted among 500 San Francisco voters in February 2012 by David Binder Research for the Chamber. Click here for the complete CityBeat Poll results of visit www.SFchamber.com.