1 SF tax measure on Nov. ballot after 2 abandoned 

Voters will decide this fall whether to increase the tax on the sale of high-end properties.

Heading into Tuesday’s meeting, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors was considering placing three tax measures on the Nov. 2 ballot. They were a parking tax increase, an overhaul to how The City taxes businesses and an increase on the tax when multimillion-dollar properties are sold.

Two items were withdrawn amid concerns they were the least likely of the trio to gain voter approval.

The third, the property transfer tax measure, made it onto the ballot in an 8-3 vote. Supervisors Michela Alioto-Pier, Carmen Chu and Sean Elsbernd opposed it.

“We have cut well into the bone of our city services,” said Supervisor John Avalos, who introduced the measure. “We need to have more than a cuts-only budget.”

The tax measure would increase the 1.5 percent property transfer tax only for properties valued at more than $5 million. The new tax rate would be 2 percent for those properties sold and valued between $5 million and $10 million, and 2.5 percent for those valued at greater than $10 million.

The City would receive an average of $36 million in additional revenue annually, according to the city ­controller.

The ballot contains other local tax measures, including a hotel tax increase placed on the ballot through a signature-gathering campaign and another put on by vote of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority board of directors, which comprises the 11 members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. That measure is a $10 vehicle registration fee that would generate about $5 million annually for transit and street projects.

“Mayor [Gavin] Newsom continues to believe new taxes are unnecessary, as demonstrated by the board’s approval of a balanced budget today that requires no new taxes,” Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker said. “The mayor trusts the voters to decide whether new tax increases are wise amidst a lingering economic recession and a still-jobless recovery.”

In other action

In a 10-1 vote, Mayor Gavin Newsom’s $6.5 billion budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year was given final approval. Supervisor Chris Daly opposed it.


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