Chewing gum fee on hold pending study

Don’t worry about an extra fee on that gum purchase just yet.

Department of Public Works Director Ed Reiskin said in February charging additional “litter fees” was being explored as a way to help close The City’s budget deficit.

When The City faced a similar-sized deficit last year, Mayor Gavin Newsom imposed, with the approval of the Board of Supervisors, a 20-cent charge on every pack of cigarettes purchased. It was the first litter fee. The fee generates about $3 million annually for the agency.

But there will be no additional litter fees in Newsom’s proposed city budget, which he’ll unveil today. The department has not assumed any revenue from additional litter fees, in addition to the existing cigarette one, in its budget.

However, litter fees are still under consideration. The department will be doing a study — known as a nexus study, required to implement such a fee — to determine the costs associated with cleaning up sidewalk litter. Chewing gum is the most prevalent litter when it comes to “small litter” — about 40 percent of the litter counted, The City’s most recent litter study found.

The department is now considering proposing additional litter fees in the middle of the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, but that is “tentative.”

Such fees are expected to generate criticism. Members of the board have echoed concerns expressed by small business owners who say such fees impair business and drive customers to shop outside of San Francisco.

Bay Area NewsbudgetGovernment & PoliticsLocalnewsomPolitics

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

San Francisco Police Officer Nicholas Buckley, pictured here in 2014, is now working out of Bayview Station. <ins>(Department of Police Accountability records)</ins>
SF police return officer to patrol despite false testimony

A San Francisco police officer accused of fabricating a reason for arresting… Continue reading

Riordan Crusaders versus St. Ignatius Wildcats at JB Murphy Field on the St. Ignatius Prepatory High School Campus on September 14, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner)
State allows high school sports to resume, but fight is far from over

For the first time since mid-March 2020, there is hope for high… Continue reading

A nurse draws up a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Mission neighborhood COVID-19 vaccine site on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF expands vaccine eligiblity, but appointments ‘limited’

San Francisco expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations Wednesday but appointments remain limited… Continue reading

The now-shuttered Cliff House restaurant overlooks Ocean Beach people at Ocean Beach on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the S.F. Examiner)
History buffs working to keep Cliff House collection in public view

Funds needed to buy up historic building’s contents at auction

Perceived supply and demand in the Bay Area’s expensive rental market can play a big part in determining what people pay. (Shutterstock)
Bay Area rental market is rebounding — but why?

Hearing about people leaving town can have as big an effect as actual economic factors

Most Read