Tax measures one step closer to autumn vote 

Proposed tax measures moved closer to ending up on the November ballot, and further decisions will be hashed out by the full Board of Supervisors.

Increases to the parking tax and the tax paid when multimillion-dollar properties are sold, along with a proposal and an overhaul to how The City taxes businesses, could come before voters Nov. 2, as some city officials say new revenue is needed to weather the tough budget years.

On Wednesday, the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee voted to send to the full board the three possible tax increase measures.

“The plan is to move [the revenue measures] to the full board, where there we will have the final discussion about if we are going to move them forward to the ballot or not,” Supervisor John Avalos said.

The tax measures are before the full board for a decision on the same day the board will also be voting on Mayor Gavin Newsom’s proposed $6.5 billion city and county budget, which closed a $483 million deficit.

Newsom and business advocates are opposed to any tax increases, while progressive members of the board and labor union workers say additional revenue is necessary as The City faces budget deficits of similar proportions in years to come.

The property transfer tax proposal, proposed by Avalos, 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 at between $5 million and $10 million, and 2.5 percent for those valued at greater than $10 million. It’s estimated that the measure would generate about $35 million.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi proposed the 10 percent increase of the existing 25 percent parking tax and applying the rate to valet services as well, which would raise an additional $17 million to $20 million a year. Board of Supervisors President David Chiu is proposing an overhaul to how The City taxes it businesses that could generate $28 million a year.

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