Proposition B would authorize San Francisco to borrow more than $600 million by issuing general obligation bonds to pay for upgrades to the city’s emergency-response infrastructure. To pass, the measure needs a supermajority of “yes” votes — that’s at least two-thirds.
The largest portion of the bond revenue would go toward seismic retrofits at certain firehouses, as well as replacing the Treasure Island firefighter academy and training facility.
The money would also go toward renovating and upgrading various facilities that help the city deal with disasters and recover from them. That includes the emergency firefighting water system, neighborhood police stations and the city’s 911 Call Center.
Proposition B arrived on the March ballot by a vote of 10 of San Francisco’s 11 district supervisors. In their official argument for it, they cite scientific projections that the Bay Area has a nearly three-quarters’ probability of experiencing at least one major earthquake by 2043.
The measure also has the support of Mayor London Breed, the San Francisco Democratic Party, California Treasurer Fiona Ma and Assemblyman Phil Ting.
If voters approve Proposition B, the mayor or the Board of Supervisors could later shift the spending targets. An oversight committee would report annually on how the bond money had been spent.
San Francisco property owners would cover the cost of repaying bondholders. The total cost of the bond, including interest, would be about $1 billion, according to the San Francisco Controller’s Office. Property owners would pay an average tax of a little more than $8 per every $100,000 dollars of assessed property value, annually.
Owners of rent-controlled buildings could pass up to half of the tax burden to their tenants in the form of rent increases.
The measure faces no official opponents.