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For those who haven’t heard of it, San Francisco’s Hotel Tax was created in 1961 to support the city’s arts industries, convention centers and low-income housing. Ten years ago, arts programs received 7.7% of the Hotel Tax’s revenues, but in 2013, the city repealed this specific allocation. Since then, Hotel Tax revenue has increased 135%—while local artists, arts organization and families struggle to make rent. The San Francisco Arts and Family Ordinance Act would restore funding for the arts and solutions to family homelessness from Hotel Tax revenue, increasing to 6.6% beginning in 2017 and 7.5% in 2020. At a time when local artists are refraining from taking auditions or jobs in San Francisco because of the high expense of being in the city, an increase in Hotel Tax revenues distributed to arts programs would go a long way toward keeping San Francisco’s culture and character alive and thriving.
Obtaining the necessary signatures was only the first step to getting the Act passed; the bill will need a two-thirds majority vote this November. TBA is a part of the coalition to support the campaign, which has approximately three months left to gather close to $1 million. TBA executive director Brad Erickson says, “We need everyone to do what they can, if that means individual artists giving five bucks or theatre companies giving 50.” You can donate to the San Francisco Arts and Family Ordinance Act campaign here.
Most of all, TBA urges all members to go out and vote “yes” on the San Francisco Arts and Family Ordinance Act on November 8. The full text of the San Francisco Arts and Family Ordinance Act initiative can be found here.
Tyler Jeffries is a communications intern at Theatre Bay Area.
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