San Francisco Sales Tax, Proposition G (November 2011)

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A San Francisco Sales Tax, Proposition G was on the November 8, 2011 ballot for voters in San Francisco, where it was handily defeated.

If Proposition G had been approved, the City of San Francisco's sales tax would have increased by 0.50% (one-half of one percent) for 10 years. This would have brought the total sales tax paid on sales of goods and services in the city to 9.0%. It was expected that the Proposition G sales tax increase would have resulted in about $60 million annually for the city. The tax increase would have gone into effect in April 2012.[1]

A two-thirds supermajority vote was required for approval.

Election results

San Francisco Proposition G
Defeatedd No100,50653.87%
Yes 86,075 46.13%
Election results are from the San Francisco elections office as of 5:30 a.m. PST on Thursday, November 24, 2011.


The official voter guide arguments in favor of Proposition G were signed by:

  • Renita Abram, In Home Supportive Services Care Provider
  • Neal Cavellini, San Francisco Firefighter
  • Michael Evans, San Francisco Police Officer

They made these arguments:

"Proposition G would ensure that our cops and firefighters can protect our neighborhoods in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster."
"There is no time more crucial than now to preserve our vital public safety and social services which directly benefit San Francisco seniors and working families."
"San Francisco has the highest percentage of seniors in an urban area in the State. By 2025, 1 in 5 San Franciscans will be older than 65. The number of people older than 85 will also have doubled. Proposition G will ensure that our seniors do not lose the care they need."


The official voter guide arguments opposing Proposition G were signed by the San Francisco Republican Party. The argument they made in the voter guide was:

"A time of high unemployment with many San Francisco families struggling to make ends meet is not the time to increase taxes. The city already has a $6.8 billion budget, more than $11,000 per resident, which should be more than enough to cover the cost of local government."
"We already have more than 26,000 city employees. This measure is almost certain to result in an even more bloated city payroll, thereby increasing our unfunded pension liability."
"History has shown that more money does not lead to better services, but rather to greater waste. With all the money that they already have, city officials routinely come to us asking for bond money to pay for basic services like road repaving that should be covered by the General Fund."

The editorial board of the San Francisco Examiner opposed Proposition G, writing:

"The other problem with Prop. G is that it allows The City’s half-cent sales tax hike to remain in effect even if the state increases its sales tax rate by 0.75 percent or more beginning in 2016. It would leave a fiscal sword of Damocles hanging over San Franciscans’ heads that could result in a sales tax of 10 percent or more in The City starting in 2016.
But even without that threat, approving Prop. G would place San Francisco at a competitive disadvantage by having one of the highest sales tax rates in the Bay Area. Someone thinking of a big-ticket purchase may think twice before doing so in The City."[2]

Ballot text

The question on the ballot:

PROPOSITION G: "Shall the City increase its local sales tax by 0.50% for up to 10 years to fund public safety programs and programs for children and seniors, unless the State increases its sales tax by either 1.0% before November 30, 2011 or 0.75% before January 1, 2016?[3]

Path to the ballot

Proposition G was approved for the ballot in a unanimous August 2, 2011 vote of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

External links

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