San Francisco property tax take to exceed $2 billion for first time 

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The property tax bill for the owner of a median-priced San Francisco home is expected to increase by $305.83 a year, according to a San Francisco budget analyst’s report.

The total annual tax bill for a home valued at $720,000 — the median price in The City in January 2010 — will rise to $8,641.51. As a result, San Francisco’s property tax revenue exceeds $2 billion in a fiscal year for the first time.

The increase is attributable to a slight boost in the tax rate from $1.1691 to $1.188 — which the Board of Supervisors is expected to adopt Tuesday — and the overall increase in property assessments by the 2 percent maximum allowable under the 1978 state Proposition 13. The tax rate is charged per $100 in value of a home.

Landlords will have some relief, as a portion of the tax can be passed on to tenants. For a renter living in that same $720,000 home, the costs could rise by $63.07 to $646.27, under a rate hike from $0.081 to $0.088.

Property tax revenue will exceed $2 billion as total assessments have increased in value from $147.6 billion in 2008 to $180.17 billion this year.

The revenue is spread around to city government and other entities — including the San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco Community College District, BART and Bay Area Air Quality Management District — to pay operational costs and bond debt.

Property taxes that go into San Francisco’s budget, which this year totals $7.9 billion, are the budget’s largest revenue source. While about half the budget is composed of enterprise departments that generate their own revenue, such as the port airport, the other half operate on tax revenue and fees. In this fiscal year, property taxes account for 29 percent, or $1.15 billion, of the total $3.9 billion in fees and taxes collected by The City. That’s projected to increase to $1.22 billion next fiscal year.

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