If it were almost any other city, we would probably oppose Albany's Measure F.

The proposed eight-year, half-cent sales tax increase would bring the total rate in the city to 9.25 percent. In the East Bay, only El Cerrito and Union City are that high.

We generally don't like using sales tax increases to close budget gaps because they are regressive and put merchants at a competitive disadvantage.

But we back Measure F because of Albany's circumstances. Revenues from sales and commercial property taxes are substantially less than in most communities. At the same time, city leaders have been fiscally responsible: Unlike most cities, Albany never adopted the most generous pension benefits for police and firefighters. And, they've paid off much of their pension debt.

Despite responsible financial planning, the city has had to cut 7 percent of public safety jobs and 17 percent of other positions.

Measure F seems justified and we urge a yes vote.