Proposition J — November 2020

From the San Francisco November 2020 Nonpartisan Voter Guide.

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.

The 2018 tax passed with a majority, but not a supermajority, and a lawsuit brought against the old measure for that reason is keeping the money tied up in court. While appeals courts have ruled that such taxes require only a simple majority, the city cannot spend the money until the case is resolved. 

The new $288 parcel tax would replace the $320 parcel tax approved in 2018.

Primarily, the revenue from this measure would be used to pay for raises for teachers and other educators that were negotiated in 2018. It would also help schools increase staffing and invest in technology.

Though this is a flat parcel tax, primary homes of seniors would be exempted. It would raise an estimated $48 million a year and would expire in June 2038. A special tax placed on the ballot by a legislator, in this case the mayor, requires a supermajority to pass.