SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco is floating the idea of a pollution tax that would target downtown high-rise commercial properties in the hope of solving the city’s housing crunch.
The carbon tax is just one piece of the puzzle proposed by Supervisor John Avalos. He also wants a parcel tax on downtown commercial properties and a half-billion dollar bond in November.
Those funds would be pooled to help the city pay for affordable housing.
According to Avalos, the tax would be “one that will tax uses of carbon energy, but will exempt commercial properties that use renewable energy for their consumption.”
Realtor Dan Hendel says the plan is a bad idea even though big commercial owners could afford the tax.
“They could, and we could also take the chance that some of these large corporations that are feeding this frenzy could decide to move outside the city, or outside the state,” Hendel told KPIX 5.
The proposals would not directly affect small businesses, but the $500 million bond would slightly raise property taxes for homeowners.
Noe Valley bakery owner Michael Gassen isn’t enthusiastic about the plan.
“My first thought is, not yet another tax or another fee for us. There’s only so much we’ve been able to bear,” Gassen said.