Local governments badly need revenue. One place to find it: charging higher fees for services, including new tolls for uses of bridges and roads.
The prospect of such tolls has sparked a back-and-forth in the San Francisco Bay Area that could lead to war.
In short, San Francisco proper is considering enacting a $3 toll for drivers crossing into or out of the city from the south. In response, the county to the south -- San Mateo -- is threatening a retaliatory $12 toll.
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The original idea was to reduce traffic while generating $60 to $80 million for the financially-strapped city of San Francisco, but politicians who live one city south feel it unfairly targets its residents.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on whether the City should study the matter Tuesday.
Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail, at least by 2015, when such polls would go into effect.