SF economic chief: Commercial rent tax won’t create any jobs 

The number of jobs that would be generated with a new commercial rent tax: Zero, says The City’s economic chief.

This week, Ted Egan, The City’s economist, told the Small Business Commission that a commercial rent tax such as the one Supervisor David Chiu has proposed for the November ballot would generate $35 million annually in revenue, while doing nothing to lower The City’s unemployment rate, which is still hovering at 10 percent.

Chiu is pushing to reduce the 1.5 percent payroll tax for employees who earn less than $85,000 and offer payroll tax credits as well as impose a new gross-receipts tax on commercial rents. Chiu has argued this restructuring of the business tax would spread the burden among all businesses and stabilize the economy.

Egan agrees – sort of. He acknowledged Chiu’s business tax would be more fair and stable while bringing in money to city coffers.

“The economic impact is neutral; it creates no jobs over a 20-year period,” Egan said. “It’s all revenue gain and zero job effect.”

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Erin Sherbert

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