San Francisco companies that pay their CEOs significantly more than employees could face a new tax. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

San Francisco companies that pay their CEOs significantly more than employees could face a new tax. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Voters favoring Prop. L tax hike on companies with highly-paid CEOs

San Francisco voters are in favor of a tax hike on companies whose CEOs earn a lot more than their employees.

In returns released early Wednesday, 212,464 voters (or 65.18 percent) approved Proposition L. The measure, a business tax based on a comparison of the top executive’s pay to employees’ pay, would impose a surcharge on a company’s gross revenues if its CEO is paid 100 times or more than the median of its San Francisco-based employees. The tax would kick in beginning in 2022.

The City Controller estimates the tax would generate between $60 million to $140 million a year.

The measure was introduced by Supervisor Matt Haney and placed on the ballot with a vote by the Board of Supervisors. It had the backing of the San Francisco Democratic Party and the San Francisco Labor Council, and requires a simple majority to pass.

“Big companies that short their workers but pay their executives multimillion-dollar salaries can afford to pay their fair share in taxes,” Haney said in a statement when the measure made it to the ballot.

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