The proposed Property Tax rate for the City and County of San Francisco will increase from $1.164 per $100 of assessed value to $1.1718 per $100 of assessed value for the 2011-2012 Fiscal Year. Allocation of the tax dollars is as follows:
Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Property Tax Allocation
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors is set to vote on the increase this afternoon.
San Francisco’s Property Tax Rate Ordinace for FY 2011-2012

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by mikey woodz

    figures a higher percentage increase for prop tax than allowable rent increases….

  2. Posted by wrath

    so basically school tax is increased by over 90%.

  3. Posted by radar

    Another example of the city needing to feed the coffers on the backs of the homeowners. Last I heard, there were more renters than owners of property in SF so why is the burden not shared equally via a small increase in sales tax ? Don’t the children of renters go to public schools, play in the parks, drive their cars on public streets, need police and fire ?
    The board of supervisors know that they could be voted out of office should they try to ‘spread the pain’ to everyone since the renting population is higher and go to the polls to vote.
    Personally, I am tired of it and please don’t start a thread on the gift of Prop 13 to homeowners……we’re all struggling here.

  4. Posted by hangemhi

    if you own a home valued at $1 million, your property taxes will go up by $78.
    maybe we should start a prop 13 thread because there doesn’t seem to be any news in this post

  5. Posted by J

    Last I heard, there were more renters than owners of property in SF
    How is that possible? Who are they renting from?

  6. Posted by A.T.

    So is the big impact that the city general fund loses a lot of the funding the used to come from property taxes because that is being diverted to the schools?

  7. Posted by sparky-b

    “if you own a home valued at $1 million, your property taxes will go up by $78.”
    They’ll go up by $165.

  8. Posted by lyqwyd

    @J
    They are renting from people who own small and large apartment building. There aren’t many single families available for rent compared to the number of apartments for rent. I believe renters make up something like 70% of SF’s population.

  9. Posted by BG

    j, they rent from landowners… but there are multi unit buildings. so one landowner might rent out to multiple tenants.

  10. Posted by radar

    “J, they rent from landowners…but there are multiple unit buildings so one landowner might rent out to multiple tenants”
    Not only multiple tenants per building but multiple tenants per unit.
    “if you own a home valued at $1 million, your property taxes will go up by $78.”
    ” They’ll go up by $165.”
    $165 here….,$78 there……don’t think this is the first time this has happened to property taxes here. That is why I support spreading the responsibility to all those who use the services and privledges.

  11. Posted by guppy

    Get used to it folks. We (USA, SF, CA) are broke! Homeowners are low hanging fruit for the tax man. Homwowners got into this “racket” when they decided they did not want to rent anymore. It goes with the territory. Mortgage interest deduction could be next on the chopping block (munis were proposed today). Oh and it goes both ways…..those who decided to rent and instead put their down payment in savings account, are getting a negligible return on their cash due to low rates. Its a Sh*t sandwich and we all have to take a bite.

  12. Posted by wrath

    I have no problem taxing the property owners so long as they can pass it onto the tenants in rent increases.
    Also, it seems we ought to go back to the original system of US governance where only the property owners have a right to vote;

  13. Posted by wrath

    The fundamental issue is, as folks have pointed out, that the beast is in need of revenue.
    And the reason for that is b/c of public employee unions – unfortunately, the working men of America (i.e., taxpayers) are not able to call up Pinkerton’s anymore. You can trace the collapse of America all the way to Wilson.

  14. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    (1.1718 – 1.164) * 10000
    78.0000
    Where do you get $165 sparky? You guys are whining this much over $6/mo? Give me a break, the schools need it.

  15. Posted by BobN

    My sympathy for the ‘we need more revenue’ angle would be greater if the real estate boom of the last decade — which has collapsed but leaves prices waaay higher than they were in the 90s — hadn’t ballooned the amount of money collected in property taxes compared, again, to the 90s.
    Personally, I blame Willie for “professionalizing” the City’s management class….

  16. Posted by WH

    so…. did this pass?

  17. Posted by J

    So we do agree that all SF properties are actually owned by someone right?
    If a slumlord can’t cover their expenses with rental income, they should sell the property to someone competent.

  18. Posted by frontline

    J – the five year 2009 ACS estimated that owners represent about 38% of San Francisco’s occupied housing units; renters about 62%. In 2000, this was 35% owners, 65% renters. The 18k new housing units (almost entirely ownership) in SOMA (District 6) are starting to make a dent in the renter majority, but don’t expect any dramatic changes soon.
    http://www.sf-planning.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8501

  19. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    Are we actually pulling in more property taxes, inflation adjusted?
    Look at this graph:
    http://www.jparsons.net/housingbubble/san_francisco.png
    Inflation adjusted home prices are only a bit above what they were in 1990. Through in Prop 13 and they are probably about the same.

  20. Posted by sparky-b

    NV Jim,
    I was just reading the $500K example with a stated $82.50 increase from the Ordinance, but now I see that they took the $500K and added the property value increase of $3750 to compare last year to this year.
    So your taxes went up by $165 but partly because your basis went up.

  21. Posted by hangemhi

    guppy – the US is not broke or out of money – it has a printing press and can never run out of US dollars.
    wrath – unions came about because workers were dying on the job, among other things. Peter Schiff was just on CNBC saying all regulation should be repealed including anti-discrimination laws – according to him if you don’t like your job you should just find another. Great – lets go back to sweat shops, chain the doors and if a fire starts, tough luck.
    Unions are the fly on the elephants ass. The financial industry has been rapping this country for decades. they are the elephant.
    all this BS in DC with a deficit reduction committee is pure ringling brothers. there is no need to reduce the deficit of a gov with a printing press in a deflationary low to no GDP environment with 9+% unemployed. we are in a private sector debt trap with trillions of dollars slowly being destroyed as people default on their mortgages, pay down their debts, and lock of cash in savings. that money has to be replaced or we will enter a deflationary spiral.
    as long as our leaders (and the people) believe our problems are US Gov “debts” and deficits, and not private sector debt and money destruction, we will teeter on the edge of a great depression with the best case this new normal we’ve been experiencing the last couple of years.
    destroying unions will do nothing other than sap the middle class of more money. it is a symptom of the problem, not its cause

  22. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    I am all for ending rent control as soon as we repeal Prop 13 proections for commercial and residential properties.
    Even under rent control rent can, and does, go up. It is just capped at the same 2% annual increase the home owners property values are capped at under Prop 13.

  23. Posted by radar

    Riiiiiight !………..rent does go up under rent control.
    This year it is a whopping 0.5% through 2.29.12 which translates to $10 for a $2000 a month apartment or $5 a month for a tenant who lives in a $2000 a month market value apartment but pays half that amount because of rent control.
    Meanwhile, water, garbage and electricity goes up by 100% over the last 5 or so years. Not to mention the upkeep for roofing, paint, carpet, appliances etc.

  24. Posted by A.T.

    “water, garbage and electricity goes up by 100% over the last 5 or so years”
    Boy, where are you getting your water, garbage, and electricity service? Mine has barely budged over the last 5 years.
    Rent on rent-controlled units is not based on prop 13 but on the CPI – which has been very low – and landlords can also pass on other increases (like PG&E costs).

  25. Posted by shza

    Personally, I am tired of it and please don’t start a thread on the gift of Prop 13 to homeowners……we’re all struggling here.
    I don’t understand how Prop 13 is not relevant here. Obviously the property tax burden would be much higher (and/or much differently distributed) than this immaterial change will make it if not for that grossly inefficient subsidy. Long-time owners are still significantly better off, tax-wise, than their counterparts anywhere else in the country.
    In general, if you’re going to raise revenues for something productive like education, taxing unproductive activities like sitting on land seems like the best way of doing it.
    radar, the indignation in your tone makes it sound as if someone forced you to spend your money on a house/houses. Last I heard, there were plenty of other places to park your money (many of them better investments and more socially productive).

  26. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    “Meanwhile, water, garbage and electricity goes up by 100% over the last 5 or so years.”
    Which is why many rental agreements specifically make these, utilities and garbage, the responsibility of the tenants.

  27. Posted by resp

    of course the liberals that run our city don’t understand econ 101.
    if we just allowed SF children to attend their neighborhood schools, property values in SF would move up significantly. The property tax revenue derived from that bump in value would be much greater than the increased revenue from raising the tax rate and continuing to drive higher-end taxpayers with kids out of the City.

  28. Posted by lyqwyd

    I’m currently a renter, and have been for the last 15 years, in a number of different buildings, some with as few as 3 units, others as large as 60 units. Not one of them have I had to pay for water or garbage.
    Most buildings that are more than 1 unit do not have separate water meters, or garbage bills. Many buildings in SF also have steam heat, which also cannot be separately billed. From what I’ve heard, only relatively new large buildings have separate water meters.

  29. Posted by shza

    if we just allowed SF children to attend their neighborhood schools, property values in SF would move up significantly.
    I wonder why you are so certain of this. In the abstract, certainty and foreseeability are valuable. But it seems like in practice this would drive up property values in the (very few) places where public schools (elementary only) are decent (e.g., Twin Peaks), have negative effects where they are bad (e.g., Bernal), and have no effect where families tend to be biased against public education regardless of its quality (e.g., Pac Heights).
    I agree that neighborhood schooling is a far better system overall than an all-out lottery or the new hybrid-lottery system. I’m just not convinced it would raise property values in the aggregate.

  30. Posted by radar

    “radar, the indignation in your tone makes it sound as if someone forced you to spend your money on a house/houses. Last I heard, there were plenty of other places to park your money (many of them better investments and more socially productive).”
    shza,……where did you ‘hear’ that ? Perhaps I should hire you to manage all my money ;-) ROI is so strong these days ?
    Regarding any “indignation” you may have heard in my post is from real life experiences like needing to move my 87 year old mom into a unit where I live for health and safety purposes. It was the only no-stairs unit and because long term and possibly ‘protected’ tenants who lived there for peanuts all these years, I had to get an attorney to negotiate a buy-out for tens of thousands of dollars for them to move. Owning a home and not being able to move your mother in a unit there is not what I consider fair home ownership. Then there was the time that tenants destroyed a unit and left in the middle of the night and there was no recourse but pay for all the repairs.
    I really don’t own my building, it is owned by the voters (renters) and board of stupes of San Francisco.
    Now back to my original comment : why can’t the burden be spread around to all parties who benefit ?

  31. Posted by Scooter

    Editor, your math is off by 10. Your headline states that the rate is rising by 67 basis points, but it’s actually rising by 6.7bp (0.067%).

  32. Posted by MrsMath

    Scooter, will you and the editor both pease pay attention to hangemhi and NV Jim? The tax increase is 0.0078 percentage points.

  33. Posted by Jason

    Someone suggested above that Slumlords who cant cover costs with rent sell to someone competent. Frankly this is uninformed. In the city of San Francisco where there is rent control, sometimes when tenants live there 20+ years, the devaluation of the dollar due to inflation, higher costs of maintenance, state or city mandates to pay 5% on security deposits although banks are only paying 0.3% and inability to raise rents means whether you are competent or not, the cost just exceeds what you take in as rent revenue. The “slumlord” — which hints at that poster’s bent or agenda — can’t sell to another party because the rents are grandfathered due to need to honor contracts… so there is no way to find someone “competent”

  34. Posted by lol

    Agreed. someone who started renting 20-years ago and kept his lease probably pays 25% of current market value today. This is legalized appropriation by the tenant as your only option to collect market rent is to “buy him out”. This amounts to buying back your property rights! As if you gave them away in the first place…

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