Here’s S.F.’s sweeping new tax plan to entice workers to the office, boost ailing small businesses - SF Chronicle
San Francisco voters will likely consider a sweeping business tax overhaul in November that advocates say is critical to make the city a competitive corporate destination and aid struggling small businesses as it continues to grapple with the fallout from remote work.
Here’s how S.F. could change taxes as city grapples with devastation from remote work - San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco officials recommended sweeping changes to the city’s tax system on Monday in an effort to mitigate losses from remote work, simplify the code and help small businesses.
San Francisco pitches tax overhaul as monster deficits loom - The San Francisco Standard
The huge shift to remote work has already left a hole in San Francisco’s budget, with years of increasingly dire deficits projected. In response, local officials have put forward recommendations to transform San Francisco’s business taxes and align them with an economy less reliant on in-office work.
Post-pandemic business tax reform plan would have winners and losers - San Francisco Examiner
The proposals, put forward by Treasurer José Cisneros, Controller Ben Rosenfield and Chief Economist Ted Egan, don’t call for changing the amount of money The City raises in business taxes or cutting funding to any programs, only for changing the way The City collects business taxes to address vulnerabilities exposed by COVID-19 and the rise of remote work.
In 2011, San Francisco opened savings accounts for kindergartners
In 2011, San Francisco made headlines when it became the first city in the nation to kick off a college savings account with $50 for every child entering kindergarten in the public school system.

Now those students are about to enter college.
600 Kindergartners Were Given Bank Accounts. Here’s What They Learned. - Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal recently released an article featuring the Kindergarten to College program and two recent San Francisco Unified School District graduates.
S.F. should do justice to jury diversity by preserving stipend program - San Francisco Chronicle
Kiswendsida Kola received a postcard this fall with a novel proposition. It read: “You may be eligible to receive $100 per day for your jury service!” as a participant in a pilot program called Be the Jury.
Some States Open College Savings Accounts for Every Newborn - Stateline
States, cities and community groups that offer free money to families to jump-start college savings face a dilemma: The families most in need often fail to sign up. To solve the problem, some states have transformed the accounts into automatic programs that help all families — especially the disadvantaged — imagine a college future for their kids and save for it.
San Francisco Program Waives Permit Fees for New Small Businesses - CBS Bay Area
A new permit-fee waiver program aimed at encouraging the growth of new small businesses in San Francisco launched Monday. The “First Year Free” pilot program will help businesses with less than $2 million in gross receipts that plan to open a new ground-floor location before Oct. 31, 2022.
S.F. waives payroll taxes, other fees for 300 nightlife businesses - San Francisco Business Times
Several hundred of San Francisco's ailing entertainment and nightlife venues, virtually all of which are still shuttered during the pandemic, are receiving $2.5 million in city fee and tax waivers to help ease some of their economic distress, city officials announced Monday.
San Francisco Offers $2.5M In Relief For Nightlife Venues Shuttered During COVID-19 Pandemic - CBS 5
San Francisco’s indoor bars and nightclubs remain closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor London Breed on Monday announced the city will provide $2.5 million for the city’s entertainment and nightlife industry. The funds will be used to waive business and license registration fees and taxes for some 300 nightlife businesses, as recommended by the city’s Economic Recovery Task Force.
50,000 San Francisco businesses got a behavioural intervention in their mailboxes - apolitical
San Francisco’s Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector is responsible for collecting billions of dollars annually for San Francisco through various taxes and fees. While most taxpayers pay their taxes in full and on time, some taxpayers do not. These accounts become delinquent, requiring collection efforts. Collections can be time-consuming and costly.
A Simple But Revolutionary Way to Ease the Burden of Coronavirus - Washington Monthly
Five years ago, Michael Yuen set in motion a simple but revolutionary reform that has transformed the lives of millions of low-income Californians while costing the state little in return. Yuen, CEO of the San Francisco Superior Court, persuaded the court to become the first in the nation to stop suspending driver’s licenses when people could not afford to pay traffic citations.
Gay SF treasurer helps lead city's crisis response - Bay Area Reporter
Working from his home since March due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, San Francisco Treasurer-Tax Collector José Cisneros is confronting the biggest economic crisis of his political and professional career.
San Francisco Extends Property Tax Deadline, City Hall To Reopen For Payments - CBS 5
The property tax deadline for San Francisco residents has been extended to May 15 and City Hall, which has been closed to the public per the stay-home order, will reopen for in-person payments for three days.
SF Mayor, Treasurer announce new measures to support businesses in response to COVID-19 - Asian Journal
Mayor London N. Breed and Treasurer José Cisneros on Tuesday, April 21 announced new measures to support San Francisco businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Yee and Mayor Breed
San Francisco launches coronavirus economic recovery task force - San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco has established an economic recovery task force to plan a response to the steep and immediate budget revenue losses caused by coronavirus, officials said Thursday.
San Francisco To Extend Interest-Free Loans To Small Businesses In Trouble During Pandemic - SFist
The city of San Francisco is establishing a $10 million emergency relief fund that will extend interest-free loans of up to $50,000 to small businesses in crisis during the coronavirus shelter-in-place period.
Breed announces additional measures to aid San Francisco's small businesses - San Francisco Business Times
San Francisco will defer registration and licensing fees for small businesses to try to help them withstand revenue losses resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, the Mayor’s Office announced Tuesday.
San Francisco International Airport
As cost of living soars, SF program to help struggling airport workers pay bills - San Francisco Chronicle
In one of the most expensive cities in the world, plenty of fully employed people are one emergency away from a financial catastrophe. And in a region with almost no unemployment, bosses are constantly scrambling to keep their businesses fully staffed.
city hall
PolicyLink, The San Francisco Financial Justice Project, and the Fines and Fees Justice Center Launch $50,000 Competition for Cities and Counties Committed to Fine and Fee Justice - Medium
Governments across the country assess a variety of fees and fines to raise revenue and sanction unlawful conduct. In recent years, however, a growing number of policymakers and courts have realized that, for low-income people, particularly people of color, fines and fees often result in a cascade of consequences that takes generations to reverse.
Financial Justice Logo
Treasurer Cisneros Named Finalist in National Ideas Challenge
The NewDEAL announced today that Treasurer José Cisneros’ efforts to reduce the impact government fines and fees have on San Francisco’s at-risk populations have made him a finalist in the 2019 New Ideas Challenge – a competition among rising and innovative state and local policymakers to propose the most effective solutions to an array of challenges.
Photo of Jessica, a SaverLife member, who pledged to save her tax return, and was selected as SaverLife’s Grand Prize Winner. Photo Courtesy of SaverLife
An Equitable Approach to Debt Collection
It’s happened to most of us — you get a bill you can’t pay, and you shove it to the bottom of the mail stack. Then the phone calls start. This is stressful enough when you owe the debt, but imagine getting harassed by debt collectors for a bill that isn’t even yours, or was issued by mistake. In San Francisco, we’ve been busy making sure our families have the best resources possible when it comes to managing their debts.
Two women at a table
Free Financial Advice at the SF Public Library
Here at KQED Arts, we think a lot about how artists manage their money. Working in notoriously underpaid fields in one of the most expensive regions of the country, artists have to get (even more) creative.
Treasurer Cisneros
City Visions: SF's Money Man: Treasurer José Cisneros
September 23, 2019: If you live or work in San Francisco, chances are you have received mail from José Cisneros, the Treasurer for the City and County of San Francisco. Cisneros oversees over $5.2 billion in revenue for the city and county. But did you know the Treasurer's office also has a division devoted to financial equity issues?
jail phone
San Francisco Mayor London Breed to Eliminate Jail Phone Call Fees
San Francisco will stop charging jail inmates for phone calls and stop marking up the cost of items in the jail store, Mayor London Breed and Sheriff Vicki Hennessy told KQED, a change that will save inmates and their families about $1.7 million a year and, city officials hope, make it easier for them to keep in touch with their families.
library isle
San Francisco supes moving to eliminate library overdue fines
It’s a day of forgiveness for San Franciscans: The Board of Supervisors this afternoon voted unanimously to approve an ordinance that would eliminate late fees for all overdue public library materials, and ameliorate all outstanding fines.
Treasurer Cisneros
Meet the 2019 Business of Pride OUTstanding Voices - José Cisneros
Every year, The San Francisco Business Times highlights about a dozen out business leaders as notable contributors and vanguards in the cause for equal rights. This year's subjects spoke to the Business Times about their personal experiences, the challenges they face and what they are doing to make a difference.
Treasurer Cisneros being interviewed
SF Treasurer: CRE Plays Significant Role in Funding City’s Work
Local commercial real estate owners are expected to contribute more than $146 million to the City of San Francisco under a new Commercial Rents tax.