News & Research Archive

San Francisco Needs to Pass a "Renters Tax"

Jun 09, 2010

The San Francisco Chronicle's story that city workers make 20 percent more in wages than the private sector really brought home what is truly wrong within our local government, as well as, our state and federal government. As a society, we have moved away from job creation in the private sector in favor of job creation in the public sector and have paid our public sector handsomely as well.

San Francisco is faced with a 400 million dollar shortfall this year. Mayor Newsom was proud to announce that he was successful in negotiating a new agreement with the city unions to reduce that deficit by 50 million next year. Unlike Los Angeles, which is faced with a 500 million dollar deficit and is talking about stopping payment of their bills, San Francisco seems to ignore their reality and talk about new tax increases-from parking increases to new business taxes.

The SEIU Union recently announced that they were successful in securing a 9.5 percent increase in wages over two years with California Pacific Medical Center. Their press releases indicated that they were proud that they could negotiate such a contract that would allow CPMC to remain competitive in the work place. Are we absolutely crazy around here?

We are in a financial meltdown that requires major surgery. Yet, the public in San Francisco seems to have their head in the sand. We cannot afford to tax businesses anymore. Our business community is on the brink of collapse there is no way that you can go to their "well" and seek more funds. 

The problem today is that only 1/3 of San Francisco citizens are actually paying the majority of the tax through property taxes. We need to change that. San Francisco should implement a "renter's tax" in addition to property taxes. If every San Franciscan paid their share of the city's budget, I assure you that change would occur quickly. Today, no one wants to cut city benefits, as long as, they are not paying for it. If all San Franciscans paid their share, our city government would look a lot different than it does today and would work within its true financial environment.


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 25 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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