News & Research Archive

The Effects of San Francisco Health Care Tax

Nov 04, 2008

The Effects of San Francisco Health Care Tax on San Francisco Businesses


As local politicians pat themselves on the back at solving the problem of providing health care of the non-insured they are turning deaf ears to local businesses that are near bankruptcy as a result of the measure.


San Francisco decided to throw the entire burden of providing health care on the backs of business. Since larger businesses already provide health care to their employees specifically this cost has fallen entirely on small businesses.


The impact one year later is starting to be nothing short of devastating. Large and small restaurants throughout the city are closing up all over town leaving neighborhoods and downtown districts with gapping signs of business failures and  ďfor lease signsĒ in their windows. In addition numerous other restaurants are no longer profitable and are ready to fold. Even the most successful restaurateurs are now seeking new locations outside of San Francisco because they can no longer make it in the city.


Add the rising cost of food, a slow economy and rising fuel costs to this health care tax and you have small businesses facing an absolute no win situation. If they pass all of these costs to the consumer the consumer is simply unable to pay the price and will not buy.


An example is a recent dinner experience at one of our favorite restaurants .Typically taking out my family of four we usually ran a tab of $40-$50.00 now its $70-$80.00 for the same meal. The effect is starting to show. Where we typically would have to wait at least a half hour for a table now we can simply walk in.


Unfortunately our politicians, particularly the ones seeking higher office, are using this health care imitative more to give them a political gain then to truly look after the best interests of our city. If these businesses continue to go out of business more people will be out of work, less taxes will be paid and the overall effect of this health care initiative will be far more costly than itís worth. Itís time for us all to voice our objection to this now before it is too late.


Written by: Hans Hansson


Hans Hansson is President of Starboard TCN Worldwide Real Estate Services as well as a member of the Board of Directors for TCN Worldwide Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 23 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email or call him at (415) 765-6897. You may also check out his website,

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