Wednesday, January 15, 2014

S.F. Proposes Street Tree Tax

The San Francisco Chronicle reports San Francisco city supervisors are proposing a parcel tax to pay for maintenance for street trees. Some street trees are currently maintained by the city. Property owners have been expected to maintain others, as is the case with Eureka's program. 

Now The City is planning to transfer responsibility of other trees to property owners bringing howls of protest. I'm guessing this property tax is supposed to be a compromise of sorts, with the tree maintenance being done by the city but paid for by all property owners, whether they have street trees or not?

This should be no surprise and we'll likely be seeing the same thing happening in Eureka with its street tree program. This sort of thing cost money and property owners are no more likely to maintain street trees in front of their house than they are other trees on their property. 

They rarely do it at all and we'll see more and more cries for the city to take charge of them after property owners get tired of being bothered about it. Never mind the cost to the city to clean up the debris dropped from trees throughout the year.

I actually have no problem with a big city that might be otherwise devoid of trees having a tree planting program. It's silly for a city like Eureka- with plenty of naturally growing trees- to create problems by planting them. What these street trees are already costing us pales in comparison to what it will cost everybody in the future.
Related: You might recall the letter in the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat last year where the writer complained of the city neglecting its trees and asking for more funding. It will likely be no different here.


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