Yesterday, HSC attended a press conference with Council Members Sittenfeld and Mann to express support for their proposal to create a permanent, guaranteed revenue stream to fund human services through a charter amendment that increases the admissions tax. If approved by the voters in November, this charter amendment would increase the percentage of the admissions tax on for-profit recreational events, such as ballgames and art performances, from 2% to 5%. Of the $3.6M in new revenue this tax would generate in 2019, $3M would go toward human services that are administered by the United Way. This $3M would supplement allocations to human services from the General Fund. Importantly, the charter amendment would serve as a guaranteed minimum in funding and in no way caps the total amount that could be allocated to human services.
City Council must vote to put the charter amendment on the ballot by July 25. Currently, it appears that the measure has a sufficient number of votes to pass.
HSC made the following statement of support for this proposal at the press conference:
This is a day of great hope for those in our City who rely on human services. There are far too many of our families and children living in poverty and facing homelessness. More than 1 in 3 of our children in this City are living in poverty. We also have too many individuals facing addiction and mental health issues. This dedicated source of funding will go a long way to helping these individuals and families on the road to self-sufficiency.