Bay Area mayors differ in fed aid needs

February 11, 2009 6:43:21 PM PST
Mayor Newsom and Mayor Dellums spoke at the Hilton Hotel on O'Farrell Street as part of the annual Mayors conference. It is a tale of two cities - where Mayor Dellums on the one hand saying his city desperately needs federal assistance while Mayor Newsom is proposing his own stimulus package.

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With hundreds of the Bay Area's business leaders in the audience, Mayor Newsom unveiled a stimulus plan that does not depend on anything from the federal government. He wants to exclude a payroll tax for two years for any business that produces new net jobs.

"If the idea is your losing jobs, you are not creating jobs, then I don't know if there is a good argument against reducing or eliminating that payroll tax - because you are not collecting anything anyway," said Newsom.

The mayor also wants to loan $23 million of HUD backed money at zero percent to the business community of San Francisco, reduce taxes on equipment purchases made in the city and increase the opportunity for business to get in on city programs.

Mayor Dellums on the other hand is still hoping Washington will come through for his city.

"If you engage in putting as much money as possible into the cities, we could spend the money faster, this is where people live out where lives, this is where people live out their hopes and their dreams and their aspirations," said Mayor Dellums.

Mayor Newsom said, not only will the stimulus from Washington have no major immediate impact on San Francisco, he says a state budget deal he expects from Sacramento in the next three days will be nothing but bad news for cities.

"We need some real leadership in Sacramento, and again I challenge you; have you have heard anything, Democrats or Republicans, governor - any constitional officer talking about a statewide stimulus?" said Newsom.

The mayor acknowledged that sounded like he's campaigning for governor, the crowd chuckled, the mayor smiled.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is in Washington D.C. where he met with Senator Feinstein. They talked about their priorities going forward and sources say the meeting was productive.

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