San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu introduced an ordinance on Tuesday that would eliminate fees imposed on small business that have collected little or no revenue in the past years and that cost the city more money than they bring in.
The 41 fees on the chopping block generated $21,000 for the city last year, and range on anything from closing-out sales to a fortuneteller fee.
“At one point they were viewed as appropriate by a mayor and an unanimous board but I think today most of them are unnecessary,” Chiu said.
It is unclear how much it is costing the 15 departments that regulate small businesses to keep the fees on the books but Chiu estimates that it is in the tens of thousands.
Chiu said he wants to send a message that he wants to change this “bureaucracy gone wild.”
Eliminating these fees is just the first step in making the city friendlier towards small business, Chiu said. Meanwhile, he is still waiting for the office of small business to come up with a plan that would consolidate some of the 15 departments that regulate small businesses.
The fee that collected the most for the 2008-2009 fiscal year was for junk dealers, totaling $5,617 from five businesses. Other fees for bingo games and shooting galleries have brought zero revenue for the past two years.
Supervisor Bevan Dufty introduced an ordinance that would officially place the popular Dearborn Community Gardens under the management of the department of public works.
The space, 43-49 Dearborn Street, which was formerly an employee parking lot, was donated to the nonprofit San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners by the Pepsico Company in 1991 with the condition that it remains open space.
SLUG, which closed down after it was found they used city money for its workers to campaign for Newsom first mayoral run, did not file a title with the city, however, but when the city tried to auction it off individual growers of the dearborn community garden group organized and paid the taxes for it.
The ordinance is to make sure “these community gardens are protected,” Dufty said.
The Dearborn Community Gardens group could not be reached for a comment.