Sales Tax

SF Election, November 8, 2016


SaveMuni Independent Analysis of PROP J Budget Set-Aside:
rop K is a regressive sales tax lasting 25 years, which hurts low & middle-income people and families – while decreasing consumer spending at local retail and small businesses.  Independent experts confirm the problems with Prop K.


Prop K is a regressive sales tax that will hurt everyone in San Francisco, driving up the prices on everything, gentrifying our city at a faster pace and putting many merchants, already dealing with parking and traffic issues, and heavy regulations and a slow-moving city government, out of business. The city controller anticipates $154 million in lost retail sales. How many jobs and businesses does this represent?


  • City Economist’s economic impact report: “Higher prices will lead consumers to reduce their consumption of local goods and services subject to the higher taxes, which will reduce sales at local merchants selling these items. Depending on how price-sensitive consumers are, sales at merchants selling non-taxable goods and services may decline as well.”
  • City Economist’s economic impact report: “Business-to-business categories constitute 16% of the city’s sales tax revenue; 57% is generated by San Francisco residents.”  [Locals pay most sales taxes, not the wealthy & tourists].
  • City Economist’s economic impact report: “The tax increase is expected to generate nearly as much tax revenue as it costs in consumption spending [lost retail sales] – approximately $154 million by 2017-18.”

Fueling confusion, the Charter Amendment (Prop J) is intentionally placed before the Sales Tax (Prop K) in the voter ballot, i.e. the cart before the horse and averting a two-thirds vote:  *When the Board of Supervisors voted to place the General Sales Tax ordinance on the ballot, the legislation included a requirement that the ordinance [Prop K] be assigned the letter successive to the letter assigned to the Funding for Homelessness and Transportation Charter amendment [Prop J].

  •  Switch:  As shoppers leave San Francisco for lower sales taxes, small and minority businesses will be disproportionately impacted—and the City loses a competitive edge.
  •  Switch:  The regressive tax on the poor will exacerbate social and homeless disparity.
  • Grab:  With ever-rising sales taxes, fees, costs and rents, low and middle-income residents and families will be hard pressed for survival.
  • Grab:  This huge sales tax would last 25 years—costing taxpayers and businesses $154 million per year and $3.85 billion over time
  • Double-Dip:  The City’s sales tax already has an existing fixed transportation allocation.

Before more taxation of billions of dollars, San Francisco needs to target its $9.6 billion budget at real performance measures—like increased sanitary stations, clothing distribution, tent zoning, shared housing, cleanliness, civility, service levels and integrated agencies. Waste:  Instead of efficiently managing the City’s $9.6 billion budget, which exceeds that of 13 states and many countries, City Hall continues to propose muddled, Christmas-tree ballot measures that give it a free hand to spend the taxes raised any way it pleases.

  • Billions:  Despite billions of dollars in expenditures and the largest city budgets in history, low-income families and the middle class are being pushed out of the City.
  • Billions:  Despite billions of dollars in expenditures, Muni’s per capita ridership has declined—indicating the need for sound decision-making, not just money.
  • Billions:  Despite service cuts in every neighborhood, $600 million of state and local matching funds were poured into the over-priced, low-ridership Central Subway—and millions of dollars more for a northern subway into the development-rich Waterfront neighborhoods.
  • Billions:  Despite billions of dollars in expenditures and in violation of Prop H, City Hall continues to impede the downtown extension of Caltrain.
  • Change:  We can’t accept less and less benefits for more and more dollars.

Fight to change the way we spend our money!

There is an opposition movement. Contact us for more information on what you can do.

Both progressives and business people agree that increasing sales tax is a bad idea. Some of endorsers for No on K are:
Supervisor Aaron Peskin
SF Berniecrats
San Francisco Tomorrow
Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods
East Mission Improvement Association
Potrero View
Chinese American Democratic Club
Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club
District 3 Democratic Club
Bay Area Transportation Working Group
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
SF Apartment Owners Association
Young Latino Democrats
Council of District Merchants
San Francisco Green Party
San Francisco Taxpayers Association
San Francisco Libertarian Party
San Francisco Republican Party

Examine the Data, Howard Wong, AIA