When Is $1 Million not $1 Million?

For a number of years recently, the idea of imposing an additional tax on incomes over $1 million was all the rage across the political landscape. A handful of states – notably California in 2012, followed by Connecticut and New York along with Washington DC were quick to impose the new tax on “millionaires”. More…

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West Coast Wonders

Oakland joined California neighbors, San Francisco and Los Angeles this week, when it gave final approval to a Right to Recall ordinance that gives laid off employees in the restaurant and hospitality industries the specific right to get their job back when their employers reopen. The local mandates, which also apply to the airline, event…

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Paying for the Pandemic in Cities

City governments are constantly lamenting the loss of tax and other revenues and are now mapping plans to restore their revenue streams whether there’s more federal money or not. Too often, that means increased taxes for the business community.  As a case in point, amid widespread opposition, the DC Council preliminarily approved a FY21 budget…

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San Francisco Approves Vacancy Tax

Voters in San Francisco last week approved Proposition D, a ballot question that will punish commercial property owners with an additional tax for property left vacant for more than 6 months. The new tax measure, which required a two-thirds vote to be enacted was supported by over 69% of the voters in the City by…

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Minimum Wages Hikes Have an Impact

On the positive side of the ledger, one can point to the first increase in the median real wage for US workers in quite some time. But, there’s also a flip side to that coin, and it is taking a toll on restaurants in major cities such as New York City and San Francisco. The…

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Cashless Store, Plastic Bag Bans

Effective July 1, the city of Philadelphia will join San Francisco in banning cashless stores from operating within the city. But even before the ban takes effect next week, some problems surfaced with a few state agencies not being able to accept cash at that time. Notwithstanding, the city will enforce the new law against…

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From the Find New Taxes File . . .

San Francisco voters will decide on a ballot measure slated for next November that calls for instituting a new CEO tax on certain companies in the “City By The Bay.” The Excessive CEO Salary Tax earmarks the estimated $80 million in new revenue it would generate for mental health and substance abuse programs within the…

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Court Blocks San Francisco Soda Warnings

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, unquestionably the most liberal federal court in the nation, surprised many last week when it unanimously upheld an injunction against a San Francisco law mandating health warnings on ads for soda and sugary drinks. The City by the Bay adopted legislation back in 2015 that mandated specific language relating…

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“Put Down the Straw! You’re Under Arrest!”

The latest environmental fad – banning or at least severely restricting the use of plastic (bags, food containers, cups, straws, etc.) – continues to ripple across the country and you may think I’m kidding, but the city of Santa Barbara has taken it to a whole new level. Last week, the Santa Barbara City Council…

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Soda Tax Stories

The soda tax, one of the more recent schemes to extract money from the public is headed for two court appearances, one in California and the other in Pennsylvania, while the Philadelphia tax generated over $13 million less than projected for the year. At the end of the calendar year, the city of Philadelphia actually…

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