Newsletter: Summer 2008 | Keeping you informed about the Treasurer's Office of San Francisco
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From the Office of Treasurer of the City and County of San Francisco

everyone is welcome
     
  Every day, thousands of San Franciscans are losing their hard-earned money simply because they do not have a bank account. An estimated 50,000 San Francisco households are "unbanked," meaning they get by without a checking or savings account. Estimates suggest unbanked families spend an average of 5% of their net income at fringe financial service providers just to manage their basic finances. Bank on San Francisco, everyone is welcome

To help address this issue, the Office of the Treasurer created Bank on San Francisco in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the non-profit group EARN and fifteen partner financial institutions. The first program of its kind, Bank on San Francisco has opened over 16,000 accounts since its launch in the fall of 2006. For more information, call 211, or visit www.bankonsf.org.
 
     
various pictures of MUNI and BART
 


customer service
     
  Did you know that the Treasurer's Office sells MUNI passes? Additionally, the office sells many other public transit items, including: maps, prepaid Parking Meter Debit Cards, BART passes, Golden Gate Transit books, Caltrain passes, Sam Trans passes and tokens, and AC Transit items.  
     
"distributing public transportation items is a great way to serve the needs of the public and to increase the use of public transit, which really benefits us all." –José Cisneros, San Francisco Treasurer



small business assistance center
     
  Effective Monday, May 12, the voter-approved Small Business Assistance Center officially opened in its first floor location in Room 110 of City Hall. This coincided with the kickoff of San Francisco's annual "Small Business Week."

The SBAC is comprised of 5 staff members who operate under the direction of the Office of Small Business and the Small Business Commission. The Treasurer's Office has given some of its space to be the home of this new office—which is an independent body.

The Small Business Assistance Center is the main resource for information, referrals and case management for small business development issues. Services include assistance with permits, compliance with local laws, state and local tax credits, and relocation assistance. Dial 311 from within San Francisco, (415) 554-6134 from outside the city, or visit www.sfgov.org/sbc.
 
     
  Brought to you by the Office of the San Francisco Treasurer and Tax Collector  
 
 
 
taxes
  What kinds of taxes is the Treasurer & Tax Collector's Office responsible for collecting?
As California's only combined City and County, the Treasurer & Tax Collector's Office collects both city taxes—business payroll taxes, hotel taxes, and parking taxes—and county property taxes.

This year, the department is projected to collect nearly $2.4 billion in taxes, the majority of which comes from property taxes.

Where do my taxes go?
Nearly half of the City's property tax collections are directed to the General Fund—which funds general city services—while another 30 percent is dedicated to San Francisco public schools. Another portion goes to the City's Children's Fund, the Open Space Fund, and the Library Preservation Fund. The remaining amount is put toward local governmental entities like BART, the San Francisco Community College District, and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.


 
passports
  The best place in the Bay Area to apply for your U.S. Passport is located in the Treasurer's Office in Room 140 of City Hall.

Since 1999, the Treasurer's Office has served as the Bay Area's premier Passport Acceptance Facility, and is now the only location authorized to facilitate emergency "Will Call" service, making it possible to obtain your passport in as little as three business days. (Documentation of booked travel in less than three weeks is required for this special service.) No appointment is needed. Visit our office from 8:00-4:00, Mon-Fri, or call (415) 554-5474 or 311.

Production of the new "Passport Card" began this summer. The card offers a less expensive alternative (or addition) to the traditional passport book, and can be used for travel by land or sea to Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean (not valid for air travel). For more information, visit: www.travel.state.gov.