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Measures J & K Could Force San Francisco Shoppers To Spend More

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- A pair of new measures could force San Francisco shoppers to spend more money.

"That's a very good question," Supervisor Aaron Peskin said.

Measures J and K take the homeless crisis head on, and fund more BART and Muni trains to ease crowding.

It's being billed as a solution to two of the city's biggest problems.

"This will generate $100 million for street pavement. $50 million for homeless services," Gail Gilman with the Yes on J and K campaign told KPIX 5.

But, it also means raising the city's sales tax at a time when controller Ben Rosenfield says the current economic boom is already bringing in record dollars.

"Sales tax, hotel tax, business tax and property tax. We've seen general fund revenue growth well over a hundred million," Rosenfield said.

So, why don't have enough money for muni and homeless?

"That's a judgment call for the voters, the mayor, and the board of supervisors," Rosenfield said.

Supervisor Peskin was lone vote against putting the tax on the ballot.

"We have got an amount of money that is larger than a third of nations in the world and yet we cannot solve our basic problems," Peskin said.

What is a priority at city hall is keeping up with the pay and benefits for the city's near 30,000 workers, which already take up half of the city's budget.

"We've had higher health and pension contributions as well as wage increases," Rosenfield said.

Tax advocates agree how the city spends its money is part of the problem - they just differ on the cure.

"They will not be able to re-allocate that money for tree trimming or for trash collection. It's about real solutions for San Francisco," Gilman said.

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