San Francisco has reached an agreement on how to spend a $ 125 million surplus for the current fiscal year. The money goes to those affected by the COVID pandemic, including small businesses, renters, arts programs and overdose prevention.
The Board’s Budget and Budgets Committee was due to vote on Wednesday to approve a number of items that are part of the deal announced ahead of the meeting by Mayor London Breed and Board member Matt Haney, the chair of the committee.
The surplus resulted from higher than expected income such as property taxes.
“People continue to struggle with housing security and addiction, and our arts and cultural sectors, which are part of what makes San Francisco so unique, are suffering,” Breed said in a statement. “As we work towards long-term recovery, we know we need this immediate support to get our city back on its feet.”
Haney said, “This package will keep small businesses open, fight the opioid epidemic, support our children and families, and ensure tenants can stay in their homes.”
The deal includes $ 24.8 million in small business grants and loans, including $ 3 million for entertainment venues and $ 2.3 million for parklets, also known as shared spaces, and $ 1 million for small businesses affected by property crime.
To offset the loss of revenue from a hotel stay tax, part of which goes to the arts, $ 24.1 million will be used for arts and culture programs.
The deal includes some recently approved efforts, such as $ 13.2 million to allow nearly 80,000 companies with gross revenues less than $ 25 million to defer registration and licensing fees due May through November. Also included is the law recently introduced by Supervisor Catherine Stefanie that aims to forego approximately $ 15 million in business and royalty payments, including those affecting tattoo parlors that had to close due to the COVID lockdown .
Much of the surplus comes as a result of the November electoral vote on Proposal I, which increased the tax on property sales worth more than $ 10 million.
The measure was introduced by Supervisor Dean Preston to help with rent relief and affordable housing.
Under the contract, $ 10 million will be used to offset rent back owed by tenants and to supplement government funding for rent relief. Another US $ 10 million will go towards the purchase and rehabilitation of affordable housing.
Since San Francisco had a record 699 fatal drug overdoses last year and the trend has not been declining this year, $ 1.6 million would be spent on overdose prevention programs in single occupancy hotels and public outreach used.
Additional funding includes $ 15 million for summer youth programs, $ 2.7 million to expand summer internships for public students, and $ 2 million to continue the Family Aid Fund set up last year to help undocumented families to help those who are not eligible for state and federal benefits financial support.
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