San Francisco special taxes only required simple majority vote

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July 2019

Overview

On July 5, 2019, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman ruled in two separate decisions that the Early Childhood Education Commercial Rents Tax and the Homelessness Gross Receipts Tax were voter initiatives, and thus only required a simple majority vote instead of a two-thirds supermajority vote to become law. The Early Childhood Education Commercial Rents Tax decision was appealed on July 8.

The takeaway

According to San Francisco Superior Court Judge Schulman, the Early Childhood Education Commercial Rents Tax and the Homelessness Gross Receipts Tax did not require a two-thirds majority to pass. If this decision continues to stand on appeal, new special taxes imposed by voter initiative will require only a majority vote.

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Peter Michalowski

Peter Michalowski

State and Local Tax Leader, PwC US

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