Developers seek massive tax break at Transbay Center

By Tim Redmond : 48hillsonlilne – excerpt

SEPTEMBER 9, 2014 — The Board of Supervisors will vote today on an item that seems incredibly dense and bureaucratic, and it took me almost two days to figure out what the controversy is about. But at stake in this deal are hundreds of millions of dollars in public money for transportation projects.

Here’s the language of the item:
Public hearing of persons interested in or objecting to the proposed Resolution of Formation for Special Tax District No. 2014-1, establishing the Transbay Transit CFD and determining other matters in connection therewith; Resolution determining necessity to incur bonded indebtedness for the CFD; and Resolution calling for a special election in the City and County of San Francisco to submit the issues of the special tax, the incurring of bonded indebtedness and the establishment of the appropriations limit to the qualified electors of the CFD.

There are a couple of other related items, but the bottom line is this: The city wants to move forward with a special tax district that will hit the developers of new highrise buildings in the Transbay Center area with an annual levy to cover $1.4 billion in news bonds.

And the developers who would pay the taxes are now balking… (more)

Will the Supervisors turned down hundreds of millions of  dollars from wealthy developers while asking the voters to take on an additional $500 ($850 with interest) million in debt?  The No on A and B crowd should appreciate this.

The downgrading of Muni bonds by the Fed can’t help much either.

Transbay project in $300 million hole

By Michael Cabanatuan : sfgate – excerpt

San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center, the so-called Grand Central station of the West that’s now just a deep hole in the ground, will cost $300 million more than anticipated, Bay Area transportation officials were told Wednesday.
And that financial hole could grow deeper, cautioned Steve Heminger, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area transportation planning and financing agency.
“We may not have seen the end of it,” he said. “This is a very costly project.”…

Funding elusive
To cover the hefty cost increase, Heminger said, the authority will use some of the money that had been dedicated to the second phase of the project – the downtown extension that would carry trains from Fourth and King streets to the Transbay center. That portion of the project had never been fully funded, and is a key Bay Area project competing for major federal funding. But the soaring cost of the first phase means it will be an even bigger challenge to find the funding to lay rails to the new transit center… (more)

San Francisco is the city that knows how to spend.
Now it needs to figure out how to pay.