San Francisco Measure I: Real Estate Transfer Tax
This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.
Measure I proposes to double property tax rates for properties sold at more than $10 million. San Francisco’s Accounting Office estimates this could increase annual revenues by an average of $196 million, but that could fluctuate significantly.
Introduced by Supervisor Dean Preston, this measure is endorsed by five additional San Francisco supervisors. Supporters say it will mostly affect large corporations, not small businesses or most homeowners.
Other supporters include tenant advocacy and housing organizations. They say these tax revenues would help people affected by the pandemic with rent relief. The San Francisco Democratic Party says these funds can go towards building permanently affordable housing.
Measure I’s opponents say small businesses would take a hit, but small businesses such as City Lights Bookstore say that isn’t the case.
Opponents also say the measure would discourage builders from constructing new affordable housing due to increased costs. Two San Francisco CEOs say the city should just do better with the money they already have. They also cite a lack of rules to regulate how the tax dollars will be spent. Other opposition includes the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, the Hotel Council of San Francisco, and real estate associations. The Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco Political Action Committee funded some opposing arguments.
So here’s the bottom line: If you think that San Francisco should raise property transfer taxes on sales over $10 million, vote yes on measure I. If you don’t think this is the best way to increase revenue, vote no.