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Proposed San Francisco Ballot Measure Would Increase A Commercial Property Tax To Help Fund Affordable Housing

San Francisco. Though prices have dropped a bit recently, it remains the most expensive place to rent an apartment in the country.

Five supervisors in San Francisco are pushing to raise a tax on commercial property owners to help pay for 10,000 units of low- and middle-income housing as well as homeless shelters. The ballot measure, dubbed Housing for All, was proposed by Supervisors Ahsha Safai, Jeff Sheehy, Malia Cohen, Katy Tank and Mark Farrell on Tuesday and would increase a tax on commercial property owners' gross receipts to 2% from 0.3%, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.  

The tax increase would raise $100M per year and would go toward several housing programs, including a program to subsidize middle-income units in new housing projects. The measure would exempt spaces rented to retailers and nonprofits and will create an offset for property owners earning less than $1M per year on rents.

If the measure appears on the June ballot, it might compete with a separate measure proposed by Supervisors Jane Kim and Norman Yee that would increase the same tax by 3.5% to help pay for an expansion of child care. Since the same tax cannot be increased twice, whichever measure receives the most votes would become official.