Office of Public Finance



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The mission of the Office of Public Finance (“OPF”) is to provide and manage low-cost debt financing of large-scale, long-term capital projects and improvements that produce social and economic benefit to the City and its citizens while balancing market and credit risk with appropriate benefits, mitigations and controls.


  • Maintain cost-effective access to the capital markets with prudent policies.
  • Maintain moderate debt and debt service levels with effective planning and coordination with City departments.
  • Meet significant capital demands through debt financing and alternate financing mechanisms such as public/private partnerships.
  • Achieve the highest practical credit rating.

Summary of Types of Debt
The Office of Public Finance utilizes four principal types of municipal debt obligations to finance long-term capital projects and the acquisition of select equipment:

  • general obligation bonds
  • lease revenue bonds
  • certificates of participation
  • special tax bonds

The City relies on the issuance of general obligation bonds to leverage property tax receipts for voter-approved capital expenditures for the construction and/or acquisition of improvements to real property broadly available to the residents and visitors of San Francisco. Such facilities include, but are not limited to, libraries, hospitals, parks, and cultural and educational facilities.

The City utilizes lease revenue bonds and certificates of participation to leverage general fund receipts such as fees and charges to finance capital projects and acquisitions, many of which provide a direct revenue benefit or cost savings to the City.

The City has utilized Mello-Roos community facilities districts (“CFDs”) and other special tax districts to assist in the financing of public benefits, infrastructure and community facilities. These districts facilitate improvements to real property providing public benefits in connection with new development in the City.

All references herein are for the Office of Public Finance and do not include the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development, Airport Commission of the City and County of San Francisco, San Francisco Community College District, San Francisco Housing Authority, Port Commission of the City and County of San Francisco, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Successor Agency to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure), San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, or the San Francisco Unified School District. For information on these departments, please go to  Contact Issuers.