San Francisco neighborhood wants to tax itself to keep streets clean

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A group of neighbors are so fed up with grimy streets around San Francisco’s Dolores Park that they are proposing to tax themselves extra to help pay to clean them up.

It didn’t take long for Hans Kolbe to stumble upon what he says is common occurrence: Human waste on one of the staircases linking the steep streets of his Dolores Heights neighborhood.

He uses his cell phone to report the problem to 3-1-1, but he’d like to see more done.

“This is everyday,” Kolbe said. “This is where I would want to have power washing twice a week, three times a week every day for a while until we stop this.”

Kolbe and his dog took KRON4’s Maureen Kelly on a tour of the streets that would be included in the proposed Mission Dolores Green Benefit District.

If passed, a special assessment tax between $100 and $250 dollars a year would be levied on each property owner in the district for 10 years.

That would also include parts of the Castro, Eureka Valley, and the Mission.

Those on the commercial sectors of parts of 18th Street and Valencia Street in the district would pay more and get more services.

“There’s gonna be a security control continually walking up and down the street not just when something goes wrong,” he said.

Kolbe says 86 percent of the funds would go towards cleaning security and beautification like the gardening for public green spaces that are largely ignored except by volunteer neighbors.

Not all neighbors think this is a good idea.

The president of the Dolores Neighborhood Association told KRON4 that he considers this double taxation, saying the city has plenty of money to provide the services needed .

“We’re have our own private police force is it like Rio De Janerio now or Caracas, the police can’t do their basic job anymore that we have to hire a private security,” said another neighbor. “Is that what this is all about? It’s shocking to me. I think it’s outrageous.”

Kolbe says the Green Benefit District would not let the city off the hook for providing basic services, but help out as it gets it act together.

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