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A move to get the California Legislature’s OK for a San Francisco income tax on the 2018 ballot returns to the Board of Supervisors March 21 with a board committee’s backing.
San Francisco is searching for ways to continue funding transportation and health care amid concerns the Trump administration will hit it and other sanctuary cities for policies protecting immigrants. San Francisco, home to companies including Uber Technologies Inc., saleseforce.com Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and Airbnb Inc., is aggressively looking at replacing lost revenue.
The Government Audit & Oversight Committee on a 2-1 vote March 15 approved the resolution seeking legislative changes to the state’s Revenue & Taxation Code.
The city must get the 1963 state law changed to allow local corporate and personal income taxes before it can take the issue to voters next year.
A 0.5 percent tax rate on incomes exceeding $1 million would raise almost $62 million, the San Francisco Controller’s office estimates.
“I wanted to introduce this so we could have a menu of options to discuss as we move forward,” Supervisor Aaron Peskin said. Any vote is “a long way in the future, but I thought it was a conversation worth having” in light of expected federal tax reductions.
If those reductions occur, Peskin said, “it’s imperative for state and local governments to recapture those so that we can fund the same types of services that are given through the federal government to states and municipalities.”
The measure Peskin authored, which has six supervisors as co-sponsors, heads to the full board. Supervisors March 7 revived the resolution, which had been brought to a Feb. 28 vote without going through a committee for a hearing.
Supervisor London Breed opposed the measure in the full board and in committee, saying it’s unlikely to pass.
“I just can’t get with this,” Breed said.
Supervisor Jane Kim, a co-sponsor, supported the resolution as “worthy of discussion.”
Any tax increase requires two-thirds of voter approval to pass.
To contact the reporter on this story: Joyce E. Cutler in San Francisco at JCutler@bna.com
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