In June 2018, a majority of San Francisco voters approved an annual parcel tax of $320 per parcel of taxable property (with annual adjustments for inflation) to provide funding to the SFUSD (Proposition G: 2018 School Parcel Tax). People age 65 or older before July 1 of the tax year are exempt from this tax if they own an interest in the property being taxed and if the property is where they live most of the time.
The 2018 School Parcel Tax passed with a simple majority, but a lawsuit was filed contending that it needed a two-thirds vote to pass, and the funds were frozen pending the outcome of the suit. If the lawsuit finds that the 2018 School Parcel Tax is invalid, then taxes collected so far would be returned to parcel owners. If the lawsuit finds that the 2018 School Parcel Tax is valid, then the taxes collected so far would be allocated to the SFUSD. No matter the outcome of the lawsuit, if the new Proposition J passes with a two-thirds majority, it would be enacted in place of the 2018 School Parcel Tax.
Proposition J Proposal
Proposition J would replace the 2018 School Parcel Tax (Proposition G), which was approved with 61% of the vote, with a new parcel tax that needs the approval of two-thirds (66.66%) of voters. If approved, Proposition J would change the tax rate from $320 to $288 per parcel of taxable property beginning on July 1, 2021. This tax would be adjusted for inflation each year and, like the 2018 tax, would expire on June 30, 2038.
People age 65 or older before July 1 of the tax year would be exempt from this tax if they own an interest in the property being taxed and if the property is where they live most of the time. Revenue from this parcel tax is estimated to be $48.1 million annually.
SFUSD could use the money collected through this tax for the same purposes as the 2018 School Parcel Tax, to:
- Increase salaries and benefits for teachers, paraeducators, and other SFUSD employees;
- Increase staffing and program funding at high-needs schools and community schools;
- Provide professional development;
- Invest in technology, including full support of digital teaching and learning tools for students, educators, and their families;
- Fund public charter schools;
- Provide oversight to ensure funds are allocated only to these purposes.
Source: Legal Text of Proposition J and League of Women Voters of San Francisco Nonpartisan Analysis of Proposition J