Sal Leon, a private contractor, re-paints the lines of parking lot 19 at SF State on June 15, 2023. (Tam Vu / Golden Gate Xpress) (Tam)
Sal Leon, a private contractor, re-paints the lines of parking lot 19 at SF State on June 15, 2023. (Tam Vu / Golden Gate Xpress)


SF State students ask city to park their taxes somewhere else -– for the fourth time

San Francisco State University has the highest parking rates out of all Cal State schools

June 22, 2023

Associated Students started a petition on against San Francisco’s parking tax in the hopes that the tax would be abolished forever.

San Francisco currently imposes a 25% tax for all off-street parking throughout the City, including schools. The student organization requests that schools not carry this tax burden in support of education and argue that their school fees already provide revenue for this category.

Associated Students is opposed to the tax for a few reasons. The university, with approximately 30,000 students, is primarily a commuter school. 90% of students do not live on campus and commute across the Bay Area to attend classes. In addition, Associated Students argues that students provide transportation revenue for the city through purchasing Gator Passes, a program that provides unlimited Muni rides, SamTrans rides and discounts on Bart for a fee.

“The revenue generated by the parking tax is not guaranteed to be used for programs or services that directly benefit students,” the petition says. “Instead, revenue that goes to the general fund is spent on expenditures not directly associated with higher education.”

According to a press release by the Associated Students on October 20, 2021, parking tax revenue from institutions of higher learning is estimated to be “$4 million annually or a small .03% of the City’s $12 billion budget.”

They argue this small amount can be subsidized elsewhere.

San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the country, according to a 2022 report from the Economist Intelligence Unit. SF State’s Monday, Wednesday and Friday parking permit price of $480 per semester is relatively high compared to other CSU campuses: $192 for San Jose State and $181 for Sacramento State.

According to the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025, the CSU system is working to encourage graduation rates and seeks to limit unnecessary hardships, financial and otherwise. As disparities in graduation rates are prevalent among minority students, this is a matter of social justice and equity.

Christine Amador, the Leadership and Development Coordinator of Associated Students, says the petition is still open with the Board and will provide updates as they come.

Golden Gate Xpress reached out to the Dean’s office and the Parking and Transportation Services office but did not receive a response prior to publication.

The petition has been signed by 409 at press time with a goal to reach 500 signatures.

For more information on the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025, visit:

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