Regional Ballot Measures
Senate Bill 1 (SB1)
SB1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, is a landmark transportation investment package that increased funding for transportation infrastructure across California by $54 billion over 10 years. SB1 investments, funded by a combination of gas taxes and vehicle registration fees, are split equally between state-maintained transportation infrastructure and local transportation priorities including local streets, transit, and pedestrian and bicycle projects.
SB1 provides San Francisco with over $60 million per year in formula-based funds that are used to repave and maintain our roads as part of the Pay-Go Program, maintain and upgrade our rail infrastructure, and increase Muni service on our city’s most crowded lines. In addition, regional transit providers like BART, Caltrain, and the San Francisco Bay Ferry will receive over $25 million per year for much-needed improvements including escalator upgrades, hiring more police officers and station cleaners, improving safety and reliability, and enhancing ferry service.
Regional Measure 3 (RM3)
RM3 was passed by voters on the June 2018 ballot in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area to build major roadway and public transit improvements with increased tolls on all Bay Area toll bridges except the Golden Gate Bridge. RM3 would implement toll increases of one dollar in 2019, one dollar in 2022, and one dollar in 2025. The revenue would be used to finance a $4.5 billion slate of highway and transit capital improvements along with $60 million annually to provide new bus and ferry service in congested bridge corridors and improved regional connectivity at the future Transbay Terminal. A legal challenge filed against the measure was recently rejected by the California Supreme Court.
Gross Receipts Tax for Homelessness
In November 2018 San Francisco voters approved Proposition C, a business tax measure to fund homelessness services. The measure applies a tax of 0.175% to 0.69% on gross receipts for businesses with over $50 million in gross annual receipts, or 1.5% of payroll expenses for certain businesses with over $1 billion in gross annual receipts and administrative offices in San Francisco.
The San Francisco Controller estimated that tax revenues under Proposition C would total between $300 million and $350 million annually. Tax revenues from Proposition C will be allocated to permanent housing, mental health services for homelessness individuals, homelessness preventions, and short-term shelters. Though the expected use for Prop C funds is primarily services, costs for shelter construction, supportive housing, or capital costs that could help end homelessness are eligible uses for this source.
Hotel Tax for Arts and Culture
In November 2018, San Francisco voters approved Proposition E, which allocates 1.5% of the base hotel tax to arts and cultural purposes through the Hotel Room Tax Fund. Proposition E provides a set-aside for various arts and cultural services including grants and a cultural equity endowment. Arts-related capital projects such as those at the City’s cultural centers are an eligible use from this source at a baseline level of approximately $1 million. The Controller’s Office anticipates a far lower allocation from this measure in FY2022 than anticipated in the last Capital
Plan due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated shock to the hospitality sector.
Homelessness Prevention Housing Bonds Measure
In November 2018 California voters approved Proposition 2, authorizing the state to bond against revenue from the so-called “millionaire’s tax” for homelessness prevention housing for persons in need of mental health services. San Francisco has a longstanding need for homelessness prevention housing and mental health services and facilities, and a full spending plan for these revenues is under development.
In November 2020, Bay Area County voters approved Measure RR. The measure applies a 0.125% sales tax on transactions in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties for 30-years.
The tax will fund an approximately $108 million annual set-aside to support Caltrain operations, maintenance and capital projects, and establish an affordability program to expand access to Caltrain services to passengers of all income levels.