Don’t Privatize our Parks and City!
There is currently an effort underway to charge home owners an additional tax (assessment on real estate) to create new private administrations that would collect and spend this extra tax “for park and open space improvements.” We already pay taxes to cover the SF Recreation & Parks Department (RPD) and the Department of Public Works (DPW).
Special assessments (taxes) should be limited to urgent needs that are seriously underfunded. “Parks” are neither: They are in good condition now and they will continue to improve with the roughly $1 million every business day that is already budgeted.
Moreover, a GBD is a wasteful tax. One-third of the tax collected is eaten up in administrative expenses! For an administration redundant to RPD & DPW.
They say, “You can’t count on the government.” But if you are unhappy with how our government spends its $11 billion budget, is the answer to create another layer of administration funded by another layer of taxes?
You are not alone!
We defeated the “GBD” in three neighborhoods and we are ready to help you!
An inter-neighborhood group is growing and continues with two objectives: to lend support to newly targeted neighborhoods and to develop a strategy to kill the GBD concept City-wide.
This website is your resource. The Resources Tab link takes you to a collection of excellent flyers—beginning with NoGBDtax.org’s Six Good Reasons to oppose GBDs—plus numerous, letters, newspaper articles, papers, and links to related websites. The Status Report below brings you up-to-date with a neighborhood-by-neighborhood history with links to pages with greater detail.
Status Report (March 2019)
Today's battlefront: Mission Dolores
Having failed in their last three attempts to establish GBDs (detailed below), the Department of Public Works and its favored non-profit San Francisco Parks Alliance are spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars and pulling out all stops to establish a GBD in Mission Dolores. Ignoring the Mission Dolores Neighborhood Association (MDNA) which voted against the GBD, the proponents conducted a quick survey and stretched to declare that a 9% participation rate showed adequate support to rush to the next step: development of an (expensive) engineering report and management plan. Public meetings are now scheduled in April, but the opposition, led by the MDNA with the full support of NoGBDtax.org, is gearing up. Click “Mission Dolores,” above, for more information, and how to get involved.
The first and only One GBD was established in Potrero Hill/Dog Patch, a neighborhood with historically fewer services and now undergoing a development boom (the GBD was established with the help of developer money). Of special interest is the fact that the GBD spends 35% of its revenue on its own administration (see page 10 of form 990).
Since then, the City tried to promote GBDs in two more-established neighborhoods and was defeated in both. It also tested the waters in a third but withdrew in the face of strong opposition.
The GBD, proposed back in 2016, progressed quietly until citizens became aware and better educated about GBDs. A two-year battle ensued. As opposition grew, proponents scrambled to gerrymander the district. Eventually, “the campaign was put on hold,” then in November 2018 the steering committee issued the statement: “For a number of reasons, we have decided to end the Inner Sunset GBD formation effort.”
Benefiting from knowledge and advise from Inner Sunset, the campaign in GBV was defeated in less than a year. Jonathon Goldberg, DPW’s front man for GBD development, conceded “The opposition was successful.” In September 2018 the steering committee confirmed: “There are now 100+ No Votes for the GBD beyond the Yes votes,” and then in November 2018: “The GBD Steering Committee has decided not to proceed with the GBD concept due to the survey response.”
The Golden Gate Heights Neighborhood Association hosted “pro” and “con” meetings for the proposed GBD. Subsequently, the president of the association, Sally Stevens, took a public stand on the issue with her article published in the September 9th SFExaminer: Are Green Benefit Districts really worth the money? Sensing strong opposition, the City ceased to pursue it. Read More