SFSOS on Daly’s Proposed Tax Increase

In the their latest bulletin, SFSOS pleads for sanity and compares our bloated government to the rest of the country as follows:

Bring the swollen City payroll down…down from its 31,000-count height in 2003, down further from its current 27,000, down further past its pre-dot-com boom level of 24,000. While we’re now using 27,000 city employees to serve 750,000 residents, the city of Indianapolis uses 4,000 full-time employees to serve 790,000 residents. Four thousand. No typo. San Jose is serving 898,000 residents with 6,300 people.

San Francisco operates on an annual budget of $5.3 billion, comparable to the entire state budgets of Oklahoma or Alabama (and larger than 22 other states). It’s comparable to the city of Los Angeles, which serves 9 million people to our 750,000 people.

5 Comments so far

  1. Jose (unregistered) on June 14th, 2005 @ 12:51 pm

    Thank god someone has the right idea here. I’m a big fan of this quote “”Government is not the solution to the problem: government is the problem.” Nothing could be more true in our fair city, where a simple apartment complex or a condo tower can’t be built without everyone on the BOS sticking their noses into it.

  2. Alan (unregistered) on June 14th, 2005 @ 7:22 pm

    San Francisco may love services. If the citizens want services, they should be able to get them, with taxes as necessary, but they must couple service with efficiency. We can, and should, make government do more with less.

  3. seamus (unregistered) on June 15th, 2005 @ 12:27 pm

    I agree with the sentiments, but the comparisons by SFSOS are unfair. Indianapolis provides services to its residents, but so does its county. Are they counting all the Indy county employees, who provide the courts, sheriffs, and assesors? SF city and county are essentially the same thing.

    Comparing the city budget to those state budgets is also apples-vs.-oranges. What does the state government in Oklahoma do? Do they provide police, fire, or school services to OKC and Tulsa? Do they run any public transportation systems? It’s a BS comparison.

    We need a smaller government in SF, but we don’t need to lie to get there.

  4. morey (unregistered) on June 15th, 2005 @ 1:14 pm

    You’re right, Seamus, that the functions cannot be compared. I think the state budgets are mentioned just to put such a large number in perspective. And of course, the city and county combined is unique to SF. Perhaps I should have included this paragraph as well – I didn’t include it in the original post because the before picture is only slightly less bleak than the current one.

    “But wait,” those who get paid from taxes say, “San Francisco is a City and County, not just a City, so of course it seems bloated.” So let’s compare ourselves to something really comparable: ourselves. Before the tech boom, the City spent $3.1 billion, employed 24,000 people, and served 730,000 residents. That’s $4,200 spent per resident, with one city employee and affiliated services costing us $129,000 each. Now we’re ready to adopt a $5.3 billion budget, employing 26,500 people to serve 750,000 residents. That’s spending $7,000 per resident, with one city employee and affiliated services costing us $200,000 each.

  5. cd (unregistered) on June 15th, 2005 @ 4:56 pm

    plus SF gets all kinds of benies for the city/county thing. i makes it hard to evaluate them against the state, which also helps in someways. Generally, if people don’t understand you, but you seem like a bigger gorilla, they don’t argue with you.

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