Debating San Francisco's Community Benefit Districts

There are 12 community benefit districts in San Francisco, which raise their own taxes to create funds for various local projects. But some argue they favor big businesses.

"[S]ince the first district was approved for Union Square in 1999, there have been concerns that those community efforts benefit the business community and not the city as a whole.

While businesses typically try to block attempts by the city to boost taxes or fees that will aid the entire community, they're willing to pay when they get to decide where the money will go, said Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the city's Coalition on Homelessness.

'The choices they make are always in the interest of big business,' she added. 'It's very anti-democratic.'"

Some argue that weighted voting based on the size of businesses allows major business owners to steamroll smaller businesses to create the districts.

Full Story: SF community benefit districts praised, criticized

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95
Women's t-shirt with map of Los Angeles

City T-Shirts for the ladies!

Women's Supersoft CityFabric© Fashion Fit Tees. Now available in six different cities.
$24.00

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00