Shelter Monitoring Committee chair has revenue ideas

In times of difficult budget times, some are of the belief that instead of cuts to help solve the revenue shortfall, The City should instead try to generate more revenue.

LJ Cirilo, chair of The City’s Shelter Monitoring Committee, has a written a letter to Mayor Ed Lee and members of the Board of Supervisors that advocates for more revenue, especially to protect the services for the homeless among others.

The letter identifies three ideas to generate revenue.

Nonprofits should have access to purchasing discounts for nonprofit groups who contract with The City, the same discounts which city departments enjoy, the letter says. “Providers could purchase health and hygiene supplies at the same price as The City. This would allow contracted agencies to have better purchasing power and the ability to use saved income on direct services,” the letter says.

Another revenue idea is supportive of providing the Assessor-Recorder’s Office with “all the tools” needed to make sure people are paying their property taxes when property is sold and to assess a penalty to “companies who fail to report on a change of ownership or merge.”

The third idea is a vacancy parcel tax. “Vacant lots are often the result of land speculation, and ironically cause decreased property values and other problems for neighborhoods. One way to bring in revenue and to address this situation is to have a parcel tax specific to vacant lots.”

These revenue ideas being pondered by Cirilo are to ensure housing and homeless programs “that are so vital in keeping our vulnerable populations healthy and safe” are maintained.

Mayor Ed Lee submitted on June 1 his proposed $6.8 billion budget to the Board of Supervisors for review. It closes a $306 million deficit.

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