SF Supe Scott Wiener Pushes for Tree Tax on 2016 Ballot

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener plans to propose a parcel tax on property owners to create an Urban Forest Fund to help maintain and plant trees.

In an article posted to Medium, Wiener wrote, "San Francisco — the self-proclaimed green capital of the universe — has massively dropped the ball when it comes to having a verdant, expansive, and healthy urban forest. Indeed, if you were to put a group of people in a room and ask them to design the worst possible urban forest policy, they would come up with San Francisco’s approach to trees."

For five years, Wiener has been working with a coalition led by Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) to try to reverse San Francisco's tree policy, which he says often forces property owners to care for nearby street trees they didn't plant.

He plans to propose a measure on the 2016 ballot that would establish a parcel tax of $20 for condo owners, $30 for single family homes and more for commercial properties. The funds generated could allow for 50,000 new trees to be planted and maintained along with the approximately 105,000 existing trees he estimates in San Francisco.

"A dedicated parcel tax can accomplish what we have failed to accomplish for nearly forty years: the city taking back and caring for street trees and providing sustainable, long-term funding to ensure success," he wrote.

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