How fees being jacked up affects businesses & residents

I came across this report while looking online for stuff about the Emergency Response Fee (Proposition O). It's a good overview of a lot of the tax (aka fee) increasing that's been going on. Shifting the imposition of costs from taxes to user fees is good, but a fee increase without a tax decrease amounts to a tax increase.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))

From,%202005.pdf :

Business Report

A Hefty Toll: How San Francisco's
broken fee systems affects businesses and

Wednesday, June 29, 2005
A coalition of San Francisco's business groups recently released a study entitled
“A Hefty Toll: How San Francisco's Broken Fee System Affects Businesses
and Residents,” that offers a sobering portrait of a broken fee system that has
increasingly become a go-to source of easy revenue for a city that has struggled
to control spending over the last decade. The Golden Gate Restaurant
Association also released its own 169 page economic study that shows despite
full dining rooms and healthy sales, the City's restaurants are barely, if at all,
clearing a profit. Restaurant owners point to excessive City regulation and fees
as the primary culprits.

On a per-capita basis, San Franciscans paid roughly $461 in governmental fees
in 2004, which is more than double that of neighboring San Jose's per capita
figure of $222 and almost triple Honolulu's $156 per capita, which like San
Francisco combines city and county government. Yet, it seems that the City is
turning a deaf ear to the pleadings of struggling businesses and residents as
evidenced by the barrage of proposed fee increases currently being discussed at
the Board of Supervisors.

This year's attempt to raise fee rates leaves San Franciscans facing the
prospect of paying higher fees for everything from body bags to
playing soccer. If you need emergency medical services and are
transported to a hospital, not only has the base fee risen but so has the
per mileage fee you pay to be transported. If you're car is stolen and
recovered, the City now wants to charge you for the cost of towing
and storage of the stolen car. These fees will most likely join a host
of other fees (see right) that cover virtually every aspect of living and
working in a city already considered to be one of the most expensive
places to live in the country.

While the City makes some exceptions in waiving fees for low-income
individuals, the question is never raised: what about the middle-classes? With
the City's population dwindling, San Francisco again led the state both in the
size and rate of its population decline last year, elected officials should not be
pondering how to charge the remaining residents more, but rather how to keep
San Francisco's most vital asset-its people.

Proposed Fee Increases

Increasing Fire Department Fees For Service
Increasing high-rise inspection fee, increasing pre-application review fee,
increasing water flow request fee, and increasing ALL plan review fees

Board of Appeals Surcharge
Raising fees for the Board of Appeals-increases as high as 300%.

Establishing the Community Courts Program & Administrative Fee
Establishing a fee rate of $75-$165 a case for participation in this program.

Patient Rates
Increasing the rate for virtually any service at Laguna Honda & SF General,
including the charge for delivery of a baby, and increasing the “labor/delivery
hours of stay” charge. Also, the “Trauma Activation- Admitted and Expired”
rate-if one dies after a trauma- was boosted significantly ($6,050 to $8,000) and
the rate for trauma survivors was raised even more-“Trauma Activation-
Treated and Released” was raised from $3,784 to $8,000 (over a 110%

Changing fees for Emergency Medical Services and making environmental
Adding a $195 per call fee for treatment without transportation. Boosting base
rates and mileage costs for EMS: Basic Life Services ($473à$690) Advanced
Life Services ($691à$810) and Mileage fee added onto the previous fees
($13à$15 per mile).
Raising fee for use of EMS supplies (injections, cold packs, and oxygen masks
amongst many others raised from $14à$20)

Repeal of exemption from paying tow and storage fees on stolen vehicles, and
waiver of an administrative fee for recovered stolen vehicles owned by
If your car is stolen, you are now liable to pay towing and storage fees.

Increasing cap on reimbursement for police costs at street fairs serving alcohol
All caps doubled: i.e. 0-100,000 patrons: fee cap raised from $5,000 to $10,000

Recovery of the City's costs of emergency response to incidents resulting from
the negligent operation of a motor vehicle, boat or vessel by a person under
the influence of alcohol
Establishes that the City may recover any and all associated emergency response

Public Works Code occupancy assessment fees for various encroachments
Raises 2 fees: temporary public right-of-way occupancy assessment fee from $29
to $70 per month, per 20 linear feet; non-temporary fee from costs incurred to
$3 per sq. ft. with a minimum fee of $100.

Planning Department fee increases & permit surcharge to cover costs of
appeals to the Board
Adding a $309 surcharge on top of the regular fee for conditional use and planned
unit development to recover cost of appeals to the Board. Raising the EIR
certification fee from $209 to $309. Raising the initial fees for various building
permits (up to 70%)..

Increasing fees for certain services provided by the Medical Examiner
Increasing the fee for disaster bags for decomposed, accident, or infectious cases
(roughly 50%) and increasing the remains removal fee.

Entertainment Commission Permits, Licenses and Fees
Increasing fees for entertainment-related application and annual license fees-up to

Establishing Mayor's Office on Disability admin fees for plan reviews and site
For any project requiring the Mayor's Office on Disability to review ADA
standards of a plan/building, this ordinance would establish a significant fee for
such a review: from $150 up to $10,000 + .015% of the total valuation of the

Golf Fees - Harding Park, Golden Gate Park, McLaren Park
Increasing fees for the use of golf facilities.

Recreation and Park Department - Athletic Field Permit Fees for Adults
Fee for softball field use will increase by 19% and the rate for soccer fields will
increase by 42%.

Recreation and Park - Tiny Tots Fees
Raising the semester fee for the Tiny Tots program.

Lake Merced Fees - Boat Storage
Establishing a fee of $25/month for boat storage at Lake Merced.

Recreation and Park - Aquatic Fees
Raising the youth, adult and senior entry fee rates as well as various lesson