Supervisors fail to override Newsom’s veto of alcohol fee

Supervisor John Avalos legislation that would impose a fee on alcohol wholesalers was shot down Tuesday when the Board of Supervisors failed to come up with the eight votes needed to override a veto by the mayor

Mayor Gavin Newsom vetoed the legislation and criticized it for the harm he said it would do to the local economy. “I cannot support this unnecessary and harmful new fee that will hurt our city’s economy and cost us jobs at a time when we most need them,” Newsom said in his veto letter to the board.

The fee, up to 5 cents per drink, would have generated about $15 million a year and be used to offset a portion of the costs incurred by The City in dealing with alcoholics, such as ambulance transport.

The board voted 7-3 to override the mayoral veto. Supervisors Sean Elsbernd, Bevan Dufty and Carmen Chu opposed overriding the veto. Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier was recused for being an owner of an alcohol wholesaler’s permit.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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