SF rejects hotel taxes to fund arts programs, homeless services

San Francisco voters appear to have rejected a dedicated source of funding for arts programs and family homelessness programs through The City’s hotel taxes.

Proposition S would have changed the way hotel taxes are allocated by giving a growing percent of The City’s base hotel room rental tax to arts and homeless services.

The City currently has a 14 percent base hotel room rental tax — about $380 million in an average year. Under Prop. S, $69 million of that (16 percent) would have gone toward specific arts and homeless family programs starting in fiscal year 2017-18, and grown to 21 percent or $103 million by 2020-21.

This measure would also have established the Neighborhood Arts Program Fund.

For more than five decades, starting in 1961, The City’s hotel taxes helped pay for arts funding, but by 2013 that dedicated link was severed after several years of declining funding.

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