Proposition F — Library Preservation Fund

See our November 2022 SF Election Guide for a nonpartisan analysis of measures and contests on the ballot in San Francisco for the election occurring Nov. 8, 2022. Voters will consider the following proposition in that election.

Proposition F would extend the Library Preservation Fund for another 25 years, to June 2048. The fund currently draws 2.5 cents out of every $100 dollars from existing property taxes — a property tax set-aside — and would continue at this rate with the Proposition F extension. The fund is designated to provide library services and materials, and to operate library facilities.

The fund is in addition to the baseline amount as set forth in the city charter. The baseline amount is intended to fund library services, materials, facilities and equipment at a baseline level and is calculated by the city controller annually according to San Francisco’s discretionary revenues. The new measure also outlines temporary freezes to the baseline funding that would apply when the city’s budget experiences a deficit. It requires more than 50 percent affirmative votes to pass.

The Library Commission sets system-wide weekly hours, and this measure will maintain the process of holding public hearings every 5 years to evaluate the possibility of adjusting service hours. The current system-wide service hours are 1,400 hours per week until the next scheduled evaluation in 2028. If a branch needs to close temporarily — for example, during construction or a maintenance interruption — other temporary services should be provided, for example, a bookmobile, or by temporarily increasing hours at other nearby libraries. If library services are interrupted due to an emergency, the hours requirements are relieved as long as the library provides service hours consistent with the circumstances.

The measure requires a simple majority to pass and is supported by the mayor and the full Board of Supervisors. If the measure doesn’t pass, the fund will expire in June 2023.

There were no opposing arguments submitted. The city controller estimates minimal impact on the cost of government.

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