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Dueling Rent Taxes Come Up before San Francisco Voters in June

TAKEAWAYS

  • It is estimated that about $65 million annually would be collected from the commercial real estate industry under the Housing for All tax.
  • It is estimated that about $150 million annually would be collected from the commercial real estate industry under the Universal Childcare for San Francisco Families tax.
  • The election presents commercial landlords with the prospect of a massive tax increase from the current 0.3% rent tax, though the Housing for all Measure is clearly the less burdensome of the two.

There will be competing commercial rent tax measures on San Francisco’s June 2018 ballot. The “Housing for All” measure would impose a new 1.7% tax on commercial rents in San Francisco, effective January 1, 2019. The “Universal Childcare for San Francisco Families” measure would impose a new 3.5% tax on commercial rents (1% on rents from warehouses) in San Francisco (also operative January 1, 2019). Both measures specify that only one measure can be adopted, and that if both measures secure sufficient votes for passage, the measure with the most votes will prevail. If either of these measures were to be adopted it would be in addition to San Francisco’s existing 0.3% gross receipts tax on rentals.

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