San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced a list of how the city will spend its $125 million budget surplus—which includes millions to cultural equity, families in the United States illegally and of course the arts programs.
The surplus comes as the City projected a $650 million budget deficit over the next two-years. However, with the injection of $600 million in the latest round of stimulus, it wipes out nearly 90% of the cities debt.
Here is the press release from San Francisco:
Mayor Breed and Supervisor Haney Announce Agreement on Spending Plan for $125 million for Surplus in Current Budget Year
Surplus funding for current year is allocated to one-time relief and recovery programs to support small business, arts and culture, and youth and families, and vulnerable residents
San Francisco, CA — Today Mayor London N. Breed and Budget Chair of the Board of Supervisors Matt Haney announced an agreement on a spending plan for a one-time current year surplus in the budget of $125 million. The spending plan focuses on immediate relief and recovery support for those most impacted by the pandemic, including protecting small businesses, preserving arts and culture organizations, supporting youth and families, providing more housing security, and preventing overdoses.
This $125 million was a one-time surplus for the current budget year resulting from revenue, including property taxes, coming in higher than had been projected when the City budget was approved in October 2020.
“One year ago today we went into a Shelter in Place that, while saving lives, has impacted our city like nothing I’ve ever seen,” said Mayor London Breed. “We’ve had small businesses close, our students have been out of the classrooms for over a year, and people are worried about how they are going to pay rent. People continue to struggle with housing security and addiction, and our arts and culture sector, which is part of what makes San Francisco so unique, is suffering. While we are working towards our long-term recovery, we know we need this immediate support that will help get our City back on its feet. I appreciate Supervisor Haney working with us on this, and I know a lot of members of the Board are deeply invested in many of these priorities. Our goal now is to get this funding approved and out the door and into the hands of those who need it as fast possible.”
“This spending plan will direct resources and support to the people most impacted during this crisis, including small businesses, families, tenants, artists, and vulnerable residents,” said Supervisor Matt Haney. “This package will keep small businesses open, fight the opioid epidemic, support our kids and families, and ensure tenants can stay in their homes. It is crucial that the surplus funds be put directly into the pockets of our residents and small businesses that are suffering, and address our most urgent priorities for recovery. Our city’s residents need us all to work collaboratively and deliver real solutions. That is what we have done here. I’m grateful to Mayor Breed for her leadership and partnership, and to all my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors. The upcoming budget cycle will be among the most important in our city’s history and we are committed to working together to help our city recover and build back better.”
The legislation enabling this package will be voted on at today’s Budget and Appropriations Committee, before heading to the full Board of Supervisors for a vote.
Small Business Grant and Loan Program – $24.8M: This includes funding for loans and grants for small businesses, including $3 million to support entertainment venues; $2.3 million to fully fund the Shared Spaces equity grant program, which helps to fund improvements, barricades, ambassadors and staffing for closed streets, and technical assistance around design and permitting; and $1 million to provide grants to small businesses that have been victims of property crime.
Preventing Cuts to Arts and Culture Programs – $24.1M: This funding will backfill the loss of hotel tax funding that is dedicated for arts and cultural programs. In addition, this includes $1 million in funding to serve as a contingency in the current year if hotel tax collections underperform even further, and an additional $5 million to serve as a down payment for the projected funding gap for next fiscal year.
Deferral of Business and License Fees – $13.2M: This will support the deferral of business registration fee and license payments that were scheduled to be due in May 2021 to November 2021 for businesses with less than $25 million in gross receipts. This will allow nearly 80,000 total business filers to defer their payments.
Waive Business and License Fees – $15M: Funding will go toward implementing legislation passed by Supervisor Catherine Stefani to waive business registration fees for businesses most impacted by the Stay at Home order.
Youth Learning Support – $15M: Funding will support any gaps in the upcoming Summer Together program, as well as other emerging youth learning needs resulting from the school closures.
Youth Internship Programing – $2.7M: This funding will expand summer internships for San Francisco Unified School District high school students, to provide opportunities for employment in education, in partnership with Opportunities for All.
Rental Relief – $10.05M: Approximately $10 million will supplement State and City rent relief funding to prevent residential evictions for tenants affected by the pandemic and Stay at Home order.
Innovations in Affordable Housing – $10.05M: Approximately $10 million will be made available to the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development for the acquisition, rehabilitation, development, and operation of affordable housing projects, including cooperative housing, publicly-funded housing, and innovative housing models not traditionally funded through available State and Federal funds.
Overdose Prevention – $1.6M: Funding will expand on pilot programming at the Department of Public Health for overdose prevention efforts, including $1 million over two years to expand the overdose prevention program in single-room occupancy hotels, and $600,000 to support street outreach-based overdose mitigation.
Family Relief Fund – $2M: This will support a continuation of the Family Relief Fund that was established last spring in the early days of COVID-19 to provide relief to vulnerable and undocumented families who were not eligible for other forms of state and federal financial support. The program was introduced by Supervisor Walton in summer 2020.