San Francisco to Solve Its Budget Problems By $5 and $10ing Us to Death
Fees proposed by our friends at San Francisco City Hall to make up for massive budget deficits lead me to two conclusions: 1) My nearly 14 year old cat is staying at her Peninsula pet hospital with a Peninsula address should she become - God forbid - too old to live comfortably and require... uh... you know. 2) If I ever get into a car accident in the city and need to go to the hospital, I'm calling a cab and not 911. Last time an ambulance came to peel me out of my vehicle in San Francisco, I was 9 months pregnant (2 weeks before my due date) and was asked by rescue personnel if I could crawl out of the passenger side window since the driver's side had shifted in the collision and wouldn't open. Shoulda taken a cab then too.
Anyway. SJ Mercury News runs AP on San Francisco's genius plan to save our sad financial state:
A looming budget deficit means residents and visitors in San Francisco may pay more for some city services.
Mayor Gavin Newsom has included more than a dozen new or higher fees in his proposed $6.5 billion budget plan that includes charging pet owners $25 to euthanize their cat or dog and increasing fees for street artist permits and food-permits for caterers.
City supervisors are due to debate some of the fees this week.
"Nobody wants to do this, but it's one of the options we're relying on more," said the mayor's budget director, Greg Wagner.
San Francisco is facing a $483 million budget deficit heading into the new fiscal year beginning July 1. Unlike new taxes, fees do not require approval from voters.
Among the proposals to close the budget gap is charging drivers for crash scene clean-up. An at-fault driver could face a charge from the Fire Department for $498 to pick up broken glass and spilled gasoline.
The Fire Department is also proposing to charge more for an ambulance ride and basic life support services. If the Board of Supervisors approves that plan, costs for those services would increase from $184 to $1,642. The charge for treatment at the scene of an accident would go up to $365, from $15.
Not to mention turning the SFMTA into a money laundering operation that would directly transfer cash from SFers and stupid tourists who can't read complicated parking signs into city coffers.
It isn't pretty and the parking situation is the rawest nerve.
Good thing we counted all those parking spots. Oh, and that's 441,541 if you're counting yourself. If you're circling your own 5 block radius looking for parking for an hour after coming home from work, however, it feels more like 15.
I will not be sticking around much longer.