San Francisco Proposition K: Sales Tax Increase

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Proposition K: Sales Tax Increase in San Francisco

Ballot Question:

Shall the City increase its sales tax by 0.75%, for a total tax of 9.25%?

Arguments in favor:

  • Proposition K restores and grows funding for vital local services.
  • Proposition K will generate $150 million for San Francisco’s General Fund to invest in housing the homeless, fixing public transportation, improving neighborhood public safety and building more affordable housing.
  • Proposition K is progressive and fair because the wealthy, big corporations and visitors to San Francisco who spend more will always pay more.
  • Proposition K is a progressive approach to funding vital services, because wealthy individuals and corporations that make large purchases always pay more. What’s more, only about half of our local sales tax is paid by local residents, with the rest paid for by tourists, visitors and businesses buying from other businesses.
  • San Francisco’s sales tax rate will STILL be lower than many other Bay Area Cities & Counties.
  • San Francisco today has a lower sales tax rate than many other Bay Area cities and counties, including adjacent Alameda and San Mateo Counties. In addition, a quarter-cent sales tax increase approved by California voters in 2012 is set to expire in 2017. Proposition K will increase the overall local sales tax by just half a penny over what it is today. And even with the passage of Proposition K, San Francisco will STILL have a lower sales tax rate than many other Bay Area cities and counties.
  • The funds generated by Proposition K will remain in San Francisco to be spent 100% on local priorities and vital services.
  • Please join us in voting for much-needed funding for vital public services. For progress on homelessness, for better transportation, for improved public safety, affordable housing and investing in our future, please vote YES on Proposition K.

Arguments Against: 

  • VOTE NO on PROP K BAIT, SWITCH and GRAB A regressive sales tax is counterproductive. Prop K uses the lure of homelessness to divert funds from cash-strapped city services to one city agency—which we have already given billions of dollars in sales taxes, bonds, fares, fees and fines. For any one of the following reasons, Vote No on Prop K:
  • City Economist’s economic impact report of Prop K: “The tax increase is expected to generate nearly as much tax revenue as it costs in consumption spending [lost retail sales] —approximately $154 million by 2017-18.”
  • As shoppers flee San Francisco for lower sales taxes, particularly along the southern border and easily into nearby neighborhoods, small businesses will be disproportionately impacted.
  • With ever-rising sales taxes and fees, low and middle-income residents and families will be disproportionately impacted.
  • Double-Dipping: San Francisco’s sales tax already has an existing fixed transportation allocation.
  • Prop K is the economic-equivalent of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic—instead of managing the City’s $9.6 billion budget, which exceeds that of many states and small countries.
  • Despite billions of dollars in expenditures, with a $241 million annual budget, homelessness is worsening.
  • Despite billions of dollars in expenditures, Muni’s per capita ridership has declined—indicating the need for sound decision-making, not just money.
  • Despite billions of dollars of expenditures and one of the largest budgets in history, voters are taxed more and more for less and less

A “Yes” vote means: 

A yes vote is a vote in favor of increasing the city’s sales tax by an additional 0.75 percent tax for 25 years with revenue deposited into the general fund, creating a total sales tax rate in the city of 9.25 percent.

A “No” vote means: 

A no vote is a vote against this proposition to increase the city’s sales tax, thereby leaving the total sales tax rate in the city at 8.75 percent.

Read the full text of San Francisco Proposition K here.

Source: Ballotpedia