This measure proposes a business tax increase intended to encourage businesses to equalize their pay structure or pay higher tax rates. The tax rate would increase in step with the ratio of CEO pay to median worker compensation. Revenue from the measure is expected to range from $60 million to $140 million a year. The Board of Supervisors intends to direct revenue from this tax toward hiring doctors, nurses and first responders during the coronavirus pandemic.
This measure is an attempt to allow the city to create low-rent housing units. While the city manages several types of affordable housing, this measure would allow the city to own and build the units rather than depend on nonprofits or private developers, who are obligated to contribute to below market rent housing in the city.
This tax measure would repeal a 2018 parcel tax to fund schools and replace it with a lower tax, and add exemptions, which proponents hope will result in voters approving it by a higher margin.
This measure would double the transfer tax levied on properties worth $10 million or more. A transfer tax is charged by the city when a property is sold. Currently, a 2.75% tax is levied on buildings worth $10 million to $25 million, and a 3% tax is levied on buildings worth more than $25 million. If voters were to approve this proposition, both of these taxes would double, with a few exceptions.
This is an ordinance intended to help small businesses weather the coronavirus pandemic by making it easier to get permits for certain uses of public space, and to streamline permitting in general. It would make changes to the city’s planning and tax code to speed up the process for new businesses to open in commercial corridors and for existing businesses to get new permits. It also would give the Board of Supervisors the ability to make certain changes to the code.
This charter amendment would lower the voting age in San Francisco to 16, allowing residents who are 16 and 17 years old to vote in local elections for local candidates and measures, though they would still be barred from voting on state measures or in state races, or in federal races.
This combined charter amendment and ordinance would change the city’s business tax code in an effort to shift the tax burden away from small businesses and more toward larger ones, with the biggest relief going to restaurants, retail, arts and other businesses that have suffered during the pandemic. The authors of this measure also designed it to create a mechanism for the city to spend funds from previously voter-approved taxes that are tied up in litigation. The city controller estimates the measures could generate $97 million every year, once fully implemented in 2024. If the measure doesn’t pass, the city would have to cut an estimated $150 million from its budget.
In 1994, San Francisco voters passed a charter amendment requiring the Police Department to always keep 1,971 full-duty officers on the force. This amendment would eliminate the mandatory minimum and instead assign the Police Department the task of evaluating its staffing needs based on workload. The police chief would submit that report to the Police Commission every two years, which in turn would hold a public meeting on that assessment and make the final determination about what the staffing level should be.
This charter amendment would create a city body, the Sheriff’s Department Oversight Board, which would include an inspector general. Neither would have disciplinary power over deputies or staff, nor could they set policy or issue directives. The board would have the power to hold hearings and issue subpoenas, force deputies or other sheriff’s staff to appear at hearings, access facilities — including jails — and refer cases to the district attorney for criminal prosecution.
If this charter amendment passes, San Francisco residents of voting age — which could also change this year (see Proposition G) — could be appointed to city policy bodies even if they aren’t citizens. Proponents say people on the city’s oversight boards don’t represent the city demographically, as 62% of the local population consists of people of color, whereas boards are 50% white. Noncitizens are currently barred from serving on city commissions and boards.