Thursday, November 3, 2011

SF Examiner: San Francisco wants cut of PTA's school parking fundraisers

This from the SF Examiner:
Schools across San Francisco are strapped for cash, so for those around Golden Gate Park, this month’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival was a big opportunity. Over the festival weekend, Parent Teacher Associations manned the schools’ parking lots, charging concertgoers up to $25 to park.

But some PTA volunteers were surprised when inspectors from the Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Office showed up during the weekend and demanded that they collect a 25 percent tax on parking.

“We had no idea,” said San Francisco Parent Teacher Association President Michelle Parker. “They haven’t been collecting it until now anyway.”

Parker said PTAs have been running these fundraisers during major events such as Outside Lands and Fleet Week for many years. The events can raise as much as $5,000 a day, she said.

“What’s really great about parking fundraisers is you’re not pulling from the school community,” said Parker, whose organization assists school-based groups.

The tax has been on the books for many years and applies to every parking operation, from downtown garages to dirt lots near the ballpark, said treasurer’s office spokesman Greg Kato. The tax, most of which is earmarked for the Municipal Transportation Agency, is levied against the customers rather than the operator, but the operator must pass the revenue to The City.

“We do have a team of investigators because we want to make sure we collect the same tax for everyone’s sake,” he said.
Read the full story


  1. Non starter. Non profits are not taxed on donations.

  2. If they want it to be a donation, schools would probably need to advertise it as "free parking" and ask for a suggested donation.

  3. Non profits are also not taxed on the proceeds of fund raising.

  4. The parking tax is an altogether different tax, and it's not clear if non-profits are exempt from it.
    In any case, can't they just leave schools alone in these hard times and let them raise some money without messing it all up?