Budget

Cash backwards

Ten things San Francisco should fund -- and 10 things it shouldn't -- to create a fair, equitable, and forward-thinking city budget

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news@sfbg.com

San Francisco is moving into the heart of city budget season, with the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee holding detailed budget hearings over the next month to modify the $5.9 billion budget that Mayor Ed Lee introduced on May 1. Lee's budget had a $66.7 million shortfall in the General Fund for the coming year, which he needs to close with a revised budget by June 1, as well as a $133.4 million budget hole the following fiscal year.Read more »

Corporate welfare boom: SF's business tax breaks jump to $14.2 million annually

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Business tax breaks instituted by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and other corporate-friendly local politicians to stimulate growth in tech, biotech, and cleantech, diverted roughly $14.2 million from city coffers in 2012, records show. That's a staggering increase from 2011, when the city’s corporate welfare programs amounted to roughly $4.2 million.Read more »

Lee budget avoids cuts, but some say too few benefit from the boom

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Mayor Ed Lee today released his proposed 2013-15 city budget in the Board of Supervisors Chambers at City Hall, a $7.9 billion spending plan that he said reflects the “San Francisco values of fiscal responsibility, social responsibility, and investment in our city’s future.”Read more »

Ed Lee's "no social service cuts" budget

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So Mayor Ed Lee is going to spare social services, and apparently at least part of the Department of Public Heath, from any further budget cuts. That's good. Lives will be saved.Read more »

The parking fee's too low

City streets are being rented out for a pittance

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EDITORIAL The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is reviewing its policy on neighborhood parking, which is a positive step: The current system has been in place for more than 30 years and has become an unwieldy mess. But the agency needs to do more than just aggregate districts and set uniform rules; it needs to adjust the concept of preferential parking, meters, and prices to reflect the reality that San Francisco can't afford (and shouldn't promote) free parking.Read more »

Compromise measures

Housing and business tax propositions don't solve the city's problems, but both sides say they're the best we can expect

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news@sfbg.com

San Franciscans are poised to vote this November on two important, complicated, and interdependent ballot measures — one a sweeping overhaul of the city's business tax, the other creating an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that relies on the first measure's steep increase in business license fees — that were the products of intense backroom negotiations over the last six months.Read more »

Public teacher in a public hospital

An educator's trip to the ER reveals an unpleasant truth about our city's budget

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By Sasha Cuttler

OPINION San Francisco Unified School District teachers and Department of Public Health nurses are going through difficult times. Despite years of service reductions, layoffs, and ceaseless budget pressures, teachers continue to educate San Francisco's young people while nurses care for the sick and injured.Read more »

The cost of shorter school days

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Everyone agrees that Jerry Brown is taking a huge gamble, putting big automatic education cuts in his budget in the hope that he'll convince voters to approve his tax hikes in November. It may be a wise political move: Most voters in California seem to support education spending, even if they still (wrongly) think the state wastes too much money on other services. Read more »

Lee avoids budget drama, but other fiscal fights loom

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When Mayor Ed Lee unveiled his proposed $7.3 billion city budget today, it was a sharp contrast to the annual budget rituals of his predecessor, Gavin Newsom, both in style and substance. Not only did Lee present a budget without employee layoffs or cuts to critical social services, but he capped months of collaborative work with the Board of Supervisors by presenting his proposal in Board Chambers.Read more »

The Obama budget, beyond the politics

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Man, the way the president's talking it sounds as if he's appointed the General Assembly of OccupySF to write his budget plans. He's going to make everyone pay a fair share of taxes. He's going to invest in affordable higher education. He's going to spend $350 billion on jobs programs. Just about everyone in the news media is calling it a "populist budget."Read more »