August 3, 2010

August 3, 2010

This Wednesday August 4th should prove to be a spirited (har) morning, when there will be a rally (10am) and public hearing (11am) about the City’s proposed ~CHARGE FOR HARM~ ordinance. Supervisor John Avalos has introduced legislation which will create a new fee on all alcoholic beverages sold in the City and County of San Francisco. We’re talking about an Alcohol Mitigation Fee at the rate of $.076 per ounce of alcohol sold in San Francisco. Alcoholic beverage wholesalers, and certain other businesses who sell alcohol in San Francisco without wholesalers in the distribution chain, must pay the fee (not a tax) quarterly to the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector.

It’s designed to reimburse the City for the following costs: the unreimbursed health care costs of treating alcohol-attributable conditions, the unreimbursed costs of emergency transport due to alcohol, alcohol prevention and treatment programs administered by the Department of Public Health, and administration costs, including but not limited to fee collection, investigation, and enforcement costs. (One study concludes that the City may annually recover alcohol-attributable costs up to $18 million.) Click here for more information on this ordinance on the Small Business Commission website, which would begin in Fiscal Year 2012-2013.

On one side at the rally, there will be “labor, youth, firefighters, treatment, prevention, and health-care providers,” and on the other, industry folks, who are gathering local support against the ordinance. You can read a response from the SBC, which states, “A primary concern is that this fee, charged to wholesalers, will be passed on directly to retailers.” The public hearing is in the City Hall Legislative Chamber (Room 250) with the Finance Committee.

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Coming up on Sunday August 22nd is the 20th Anniversary of the Family Winemakers’ Tasting, ~TASTING 2010~, which has grown to become the most comprehensive tasting of California wines in the world. You’ll be able to taste nearly 1,000 wines from over 325 family-owned boutique wineries at the special, three-hour tasting (it was formerly a trade-only event). Many of the wineries are small (under 5,000 cases), have limited marketing outreach, and will be represented by family members. Over 60 wineries in this year’s tasting will be pouring for the first time at the Family tasting. Tickets are $55 between August 2nd and August 21st, and $65 at the door. If you have a group of 10 or more, you’ll get $5 off per person. (The trade can attend both Sunday and Monday from 1pm-6pm.) No one under 21, including infants, will be admitted to the tasting.