SF Prop. E payroll tax lovefest

Mayor Ed Lee has certainly had his consensus moments in his 22 months in office, but there were few to match Thursday’s lovefest as he kicked off the campaign to approve Proposition E, an overhaul of the city’s business tax on the November ballot.

[...] in this Democratic stronghold, the city’s Republican Party is also backing the measure.

E would finally replace San Francisco’s payroll tax, criticized for years as a deterrent to hiring, with a gross receipts tax, levied on the total revenue a business brings in, varied by industry.

The San Francisco Zoo’s new professor in residence has only been on the job for a few months, but he recently told the Animal Control and Welfare Commission that steps to improve animal welfare have already been taken during his short tenure.

Terry Maple, the former director of Zoo Atlanta, said the 30-year-old gorilla exhibit has recently been altered to give the public more viewing space at ground level, while certain sections of the upper perimeter have been closed so that visitors are no longer “looming down” on the gorillas.

The commission has a history of contention with the zoo on animal welfare issues, proposing in 2008 that it be turned into an animal rescue center following accusations of mismanagement and a fatal tiger attack in 2007.

Commissioners questioned Maple about how the zoo would measure the success of wellness initiatives and wondered if some of the zoo’s animals weren’t meant for captivity regardless of attention to their welfare.





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