Monday, December 24, 2012

City planning to squeeze city drivers again

Photo by Jim Herd at San Francisco Citizen

San Francisco is planning to soak city drivers again with a hike in the vehicle license fee. State Senator Leno, fresh off his vote for the ruinous high-speed rail project, is taking the lead in the legislature with a bill that will put the issue on the city's ballot in 2014. The city hopes to raise another $70 million from city drivers with the measure.

The city already relies on drivers for a significant amount of its income. According to the MTA's Transportation Fact Sheet, the city raised a total of $174,610,099 from its parking meters ($40,520,486); city-owned parking garages/lots ($38,742,622); parking tickets ($86,306,584); and residential parking permits ($9,040,407). Note that parking tickets are the biggest moneymaker for the city, bringing in more than twice as much as parking meters and parking lots. The system actually makes it more profitable for the city to issue parking tickets than simply collecting money from its parking meters and parking lots.

Last year voters allowed the city to borrow money to pave our streets. Note that in the Voter Information Pamphlet for the November, 2011 election---Proposition B begins on page 40---both the city's main anti-car groups, the Bicycle Coalition and Walk SF, supported that bad deal for city taxpayers, along with SPUR, the "good government" group. Note too the lame city Controller's statement on the cost of Prop. B, which goes into great detail on property tax rates without telling voters how much the bonds will ultimately cost when the interest is factored in.

And the San Francisco County Transportation Authority administers the sales tax specifically for city transporation projects that brings in another $70-$80 million every year.

But all that money will never be enough. After all, the SFMTA has more than 5,000 employees to compensate as it goes about underfunding Muni and making it more difficult and expensive to drive in San Francisco.

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