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Why Prop K is good for the people of San Francisco

  We at the SFCDA would like to make these points, in the interest of preserving our industry and livelihoods:

*The city should not try to fix its budget problems off the backs of cabdrivers, some of the lowest paid workers in the city, with one of the most dangerous jobs.

*The cab industry in San Francisco pays for its own regulation, from our A-card and medallion fees.  It has played no part in the current SFMTA budget crisis.  The lowest paid SFMTA employee makes more than a K medallion holder, who gets no health benefits or retirement.  Therefore, MTA should not be taking money from medallion holders to solve this deficit problem.

*The Mayor signed a letter, before the Board of Supervisors approved the transfer of the taxi industry into the MTA, assuring us it was his intention to preserve the principles of Prop K.  Then, once the transfer happened, he saw taxi medallions as cash cows for the city, and wants them bought and sold for city profit.

*Making medallions transferable takes substantial money from the cab industry and gives it to the banks/lenders and the city.

*Hundreds, maybe thousands of drivers have built their lives around complying with the Daly/Ma driving requirement to remain eligible for a medallion.  Switching to even a partial buy/sell system tends to slow the issuance of medallions to those who've waited the longest, and is seen as a breach of contract by the City.

*A transferability system allows those lower on the list, to jump those at the top, just because they have more money, or are willing to go into huge debt.

*All or most income from a medallion will have to go to paying off loans.  After amortization, a new medallion holder will have paid over 75% in interest alone after 15 years, which is the typical wait for a medallion now.

*It will be harder for non-medallion holding drivers to work decent shifts because medallion holders will need them to pay off their debt and tend to be owner operators working independently of companies.

*Given the recent mortgage crisis, what's to guarantee a medallion market would not do the same?

  Why is paying off SFMTA's debt now a necessary function of the cab industry?