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SF proposes transfer tax increase on properties over $5 million

San Francisco, which already collects more transfer tax revenue than any city in California, will ask voters in November to raise this tax on properties that sell for more than $5 million.

Most sellers pay this one-time tax when any type of property, including homes and office buildings, changes hands. The increase would fall mainly on sellers of commercial property, but could indirectly affect buyers and tenants.

Because revenue from the proposed increase would go into the city’s general fund, the ballot measure needs a simple majority to pass. If it were earmarked for a special purpose, it would need a two-thirds majority.


The measure also contains language that would ensure that a transfer tax is collected whenever property held in a partnership changes hands, said Bradley Marsh, a tax attorney with the law firm Greenberg Traurig.

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