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San Francisco Sees Budget Gaps as Highly-Paid Workers Flee City

  • Costs out-pace revenue growth for $503 million total shortfall
  • ‘Uncertain future’ for San Francisco if remote work lasts
Pedestrians walk down a street in San Francisco, California.

Pedestrians walk down a street in San Francisco, California.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

San Francisco officials expect to see budget shortfalls reaching $503 million in five years and said it’s unclear if high-wage workers will return to the technology hub after the coronavirus pandemic subsides.

In a report released Friday by the city’s fiscal analysts, San Francisco projected a $411 million gap in the next fiscal year. Through June 2026 from June 2021, expenditures, driven by increases in salary and compensation costs, will rise by 24% with revenue growing only by 15.5% over the same period. Meanwhile, city officials have largely exhausted one-time sources to close the previous two-year budget gap of $1.5 billion, the report said.