Tax fight rages, but package may be heard 

A battle about San Francisco’s budget continued Thursday with Mayor Gavin Newsom slamming a proposed ballot measure that would allow the Board of Supervisors to mandate spending.

Meanwhile, Newsom appears to have received a promise by the board to hold a hearing on a proposed tax break package that, to date, has been ignored by some supervisors.

The mayor “strongly” opposed a City Charter amendment proposed for the June ballot that he said would jeopardize The City’s financial standing and “incentivize” dissension between the mayor and the 11-member Board of Supervisors, according to a mayoral staffer.

The measure was introduced by Supervisor John Avalos, chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, who has locked horns with Newsom on the tax breaks. Avalos refused to hold a hearing on the package, but on Thursday sent a letter to Newsom saying he would schedule a hearing once economic impact reports are completed. The Mayor’s Office said it remained skeptical.

Earlier in the day, the Avalos spending amendment was received favorably by some of his colleagues.

Under the City Charter, the mayor is not required to spend money and can impose cuts to balance the budget. This fact has, at times, infuriated members of the board when they allocate money toward certain priorities that Newsom then refuses to spend or cuts.

The proposal gained the support of supervisors David Campos and Eric Mar during Thursday’s Rules Committee hearing. The committee is expected to send the measure to the full board for its Tuesday meeting. It takes six votes to place the measure on the ballot.

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