Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Deferred maintenance: Kicking the can

George Wooding in the Westside Observer:

...If you have gray hair and don’t own your own home, you may also be disappearing — since City-backed developers need to convert your rental apartment into a condominium to make a profit. The Planning Department needs to charge developers higher permit fees to maintain its budget, and the City needs more density to generate more property taxes.

The more dwellings that can be demolished, rebuilt, or increased in density the more income will be generated by the City. San Franciscans that stay in place in their own homes pay much less in property taxes than new owners.

Mayor Lee and the Board of Supervisors have just financially linked housing prices to residential units.

City government amended the Planning Code so that developers who build residential structures of 20 or more units throughout the City will have to pay an extra $7.74 per square foot, per unit.

The City’s old Transit Development Impact Fee (TDIF) applied to only commercial developments and PDR (production, design, and repair) facilities. Heretofore, the TDIF fees only came from downtown commercial developers.

The new TSF transit funding is an open door for financial misuse and abuse. TSF funds should be used for transit maintenance and repair only. However, the new TSF funds a complete streets component, enhancement and expansion of bicycle facilities, as well as pedestrian and other streetscape infrastructure to accommodate growth. The TSF is also responsible for maintaining the existing amount of sidewalk space per pedestrian.

This is why there are so many well-paid City employees and so much deferred maintenance.

By charging residential housing developers a transportation fee, the City will collect an additional 40% more in transportation fees annually.

San Francisco’s new TSF fee/tax will increase the price of larger residential projects by 2% to 3% per unit. The City hopes to increase transportation fee collection by $480 million over the next 30 years.

The City will add 190,000 jobs and 100,000 homes by 2040, according to the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), but without improving public transit traffic in the City could increase by 40%.

Other than as a source of revenue, cars have become the City’s lowest priority...

Look around you: There is deferred city maintenance everywhere! Our infrastructure cannot support the 30,000 dwellings that Mayor Lee is trying to build over the next five years. City Government is just kicking the can down the road.

See also 2011 San Francisco pension fix not panning out and A vote of disdain for Mayor Ed Lee.

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