As City Attorney, Dennis Herrera gets a close-up look at the city's strained finances.
This week, Herrera, a leading candidate for mayor, took an unusual stand for someone trying to pick up votes. He backs a new bill in the state Senate that would clear the way for cities, counties and school districts to create a new personal income tax to fund local services.
In his carefully phrased statement, Herrera says that he is not advocating new taxes, but rather supporting the right of local residents to tax themselves more to pay for local services decimated by budget cuts.
The "principle of local self-determination ought to be a rallying point for California communities that are fed up with state and federal governments that have too long been held hostage by right-wing ideologues," Herrera wrote. "A minority of state lawmakers who aren’t San Franciscans shouldn’t be able to set the limits of public services San Franciscans are able to fund if they so choose."
"It is time to finally liberate local voters and allow them the autonomy to decide for themselves the extent to which they want government to serve their needs."