Trump’s sanctuary city threat, shortfalls lead SF to revise budget

By Emily Green : sfchronicle – excerpt

It seems like San Francisco — the center of the nation’s tech boom and the strong economy and tax revenues that come with it — went overnight from being flush to having serious financial constraints.

The combination of a ballot measure to increase the sales tax that failed, threatened federal cuts from President-elect Donald Trump and a projected $5 billion pension shortfall means City Hall officials are now considering actions that would have seemed unthinkable just three weeks ago.

Among them: redirecting new revenue generated by the just-passed soda tax from health programs to homeless services, ending the Twitter tax break that was designed to draw
tech companies to the city, annulling a voter-approved charter amendment to pay for street tree maintenance and not spending the money to make City College free.

“The city is in a strong financial position, and the mayor is committed to remaining
disciplined when it comes to the budget,” said Deirdre Hussey, Mayor Ed Lee’s spokeswoman. “However, the city’s revenue growth is slowing and pension costs have risen in recent years faster than projected. … These things combined make it essential for policy makers to rebalance the budget.”

San Francisco’s current annual budget is $9.6 billion, up from $6.4 billion in 2010. It’s
bigger than the budgets of 13 states, a reflection in part of the city’s strong economy. The
two-year budget passed in July has no cuts to city services, and departments large and
small got more money. It also funds a 4 percent expansion in the city’s workforce, from just under 30,000 to 30,750 workers.

Three main factors have led to the rapid reassessment of the city’s finances… (download shortfall-budget.pdf) for the full story

Of course the Mayor is proving all the points opponents of the ballot proposals made when they claimed the money is going into the general fund and there is no guarantee that any of it will go where the voters are told it will. Health programs and tree maintenance are the first to go, followed soon by free City College. Hope you were not counting on having those potholes fixed any time soon. You may want to adopt one or fix it yourself.

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