munipiece2.jpgFinancial planners introduced five potential revenue-generating schemes at a San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency board of directors meeting today to help mitigate future debt.

SFMTA Chief Financial Officer Sonali Bose and financial planners from Ross Financial and Public Financial Management aimed to help the agency deal with a projected $2 billion deficit over the coming years.

Peter Ross, manager of Ross Financial, said the ideas were screened and narrowed down from 14 original plans.

“The idea was to focus on options with high revenue potential with easy implementation,” he said.

The five that made the cut will be considered by the board in early April.

Further study will be given to vehicle mitigation impact fees, transportation utility fees, a transit parcel tax, commercial parking space fees, and a local transit sales tax.

By charging $50 to $100 for each local vehicle registered, the agency could gain an extra $72 million per year.

Ross justified the fee by citing each vehicle’s impact on the city streets.

He added that city buildings are subject to a similar fee for their effect on surrounding neighborhoods.

At the top of the list was charging for off-street commercial parking stall usage.

Instituting a $100 to $300 tax on commercially owned parking spaces would generate up to $17 million annually, Ross said. It would also help curb congestion by centralizing the back up, Ross said.

SFMTA Director Malcolm Heinicke said that although the deficit is a serious problem, he is not sure that the solutions are targeting a fair demographic.

“All of those would mainly effect San Francisco residents, and that concerns me,” Heinicke said. “Other people benefit from our city’s transit system, and most of the congestion often springs from those lined up to cross the bridge.”

Kristen Peters, Bay City News

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