FAQ

Am I in the Green Benefit District?

If you live in Dogpatch or Northwest Potrero, you might be!
Click here for a detailed map of addresses in the district.

How do I Get a Project Funded by the GBD?

We're excited to hear your ideas regarding public green spaces, water reclamation projects, playgrounds, streetscape improvements and more. Please drop us a line at admin[at]greenbenefit.org


How can I get involved?

Let us hear from you - Ideas, concerns, etc. Feedback is welcome. Attend GBD Board or Committee meetings. Public welcome. See the calendar for times and locations.

  • Join us at our monthly board meetings, schedules and agendas are HERE
  • Send us your ideas. Email us HERE
  • Join a committee.
  • Run to serve as a director. Elections take place each February/March.
  • Donate. Grants and private contributions help fuel the work of the GBD.

How Is The GBD Funded?

The work of the GBD is funded primarily by the property owners within the district. Each property owner pays an assessment, based on property size and type of use, which is collected twice a year on the same schedule as property tax collection. The Green Benefit District also applies for grants and solicits donations that help further the work of the organization. In addition, the GBD advocates for projects with City departments, increasing the amount of City funding that is expended in the district.


How are assessments collected?

The GBD assessment will appear as a separate line item on annual property tax bills and will be collected and enforced by the San Francisco Treasurer and Tax Collector. The Treasurer and Tax Collector transfers the assessment payments to the owners’ non-profit corporation that manages the GBD.


What Does the GBD Do with the money it gets?

The GBD’s Management Plan parses GBD assessment funds into four categories - Maintenance, Capital, Accountability, and Operations - and specifies the percentage of funds to be spent in each category in each of the district’s 2 zones. Annual expenditures in each category may vary slightly, but not more than 10% per year. Maintenance funds help augment City services by providing extra sidewalk cleaning, trash pick up and graffiti removal. The GBD also maintains over 50% of the parks in the district, land not owned or managed by the Recreation and Parks Department. Capital funds repair, improve, expand and create parks and greenspaces, add and maintain street trees and sidewalk gardens, and fund pedestrian and other public real improvements. Accountability funds help keep stakeholders and other constituents informed and engaged and subsidize neighborhood events and amenities.


Why is GBD on my Property Tax Bill?

The GBD is chartered under State law and operates through a contract with and the oversight of the City. Under this agreement, the City collects assessments in the City’s benefit districts at the same time that it collects property taxes. The assessment funds are then transferred to nonprofit organizations, like the GBD, that use the funds for the benefit of their district stakeholders.


How are Asessments Determined?

The assessment rate in the Dogpatch & NW Potrero Hill GBD varies by land use type. Commercial, Residential and Industrial parcels are assessed based on their total building square footage, while Greenspace parcels and Vacant/Parking Lots are assessed based on their total lot square footage. For a more detailed explanation of the methodology used to calculate assessment rates, see the Management Plan (Section VII) and the Engineer’s Report (Section G: Apportionment Method).



Can Landlords Pass Through GBD Asessment Costs?

For rent controlled units, the answer is probably not. The San Francisco Rent Ordinance prohibits owners of rent-controlled rental units from passing through the increased cost of special assessments to tenants in rent-controlled units, with the exception of general obligation bonds approved by 50% of voters and with express language allowing a pass-through. Owners of rent-controlled units do have the right under the San Francisco Rent Ordinance to file a Operating & Maintenance Petition requesting right to pass-through a portion of general operating costs for their buildings (including garbage, water, etc.), but not solely for increased costs associated special assessments. General tax increases may be considered as one of several cost factors. The petition must be approved by the Rent Board approval, and even if approved, low-income or fixed-income tenants may obtain a hardship exemption from the Rent Board from any pass-through approved by the Rent Board.

For non rent-controlled (post-1979) residential units and commercial buildings, the right of the landlord to pass through new assessments will depend on the terms of each individual lease.


Does the GBD Replace City Services?

No. The City currently provides a baseline of services to the Dogpatch and Northwest Potrero Hill neighborhoods, based upon annual City & County of SF (CCSF) budget allocations. By adopting the GBD Management Plan, the CCSF Board of Supervisors guaranteed a baseline level of service equivalent to that being provided in similar areas of the city. Throughout the duration of the GBD, these services will be maintained consistently with other similar areas of the city.