Budget projections show deficits rising in S.F.

By Heather Knight : sfchronicle – excerpt

Everything about San Francisco’s budget is big — even, it turns out, its deficits. The booming center of tech and tourism isn’t quite so booming these days, and new budget projections show the city’s books over the next five years are out of whack to the tune of $848 million.

Even more mind-boggling is a new actuarial report on the city’s pension system. In just one year, the city’s long-term pension liabilities have shot up from $2.3 billion to $5.48 billion. That’s because returns on investments have been low, and life expectancies have risen, a problematic combination when you’re paying retired people…

Good time to start laying off the over-paid future planning staff and get down to the work of keeping the ship afloat instead of floating more bonds and other debt. Laying off high-paid staff is how the private sector handles it. Let’s see if City Hall can figure out how to keep the lights on today, by giving up on controlling the future.

While liberal cities await that potential doomsday scenario, the current monetary problems are much more mundane. Sales tax revenue and transfer tax revenue from the sales of property are both lagging. The sales tax measure that would have brought in $150 million a year for homelessness and transit failed in the November election.

City Hall should take a hint from the Clinton playbook and listen to the public. Quit spending millions of dollars trying to convince us we need to change. Listen to what we want. We do not want expensive sidewalk treatments and street closures that are killing our businesses, indicated by the economic slowdown many predicted, and why the sales tax lost. CITY HALL POLICIES ARE KILLING BUSINESS IN SF.

See below for the proof of what we have been saying for awhile. Healthy commerce depends on the healthy flow of traffic on our streets. Our businesses are suffering because of the traffic problems and employers are losing workers due to displacement.

And perhaps most problematically, the city’s pension fund is underperforming. The city assumes a 7.5 percent rate of return on its pension investments, but it has fallen way short of that the past two years. Two years ago, it earned 3.9 percent, and last year it earned 1.3 percent… (more)





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