SF voters approve parcel tax upping teacher pay

Educators across San Francisco have reason to celebrate with the approval on Tuesday of a parcel tax that is expected to boost their salaries by 7 percent over the next two decades.

Proposition G, which needed a majority vote to pass, had won more than 57 percent of the vote by 10 p.m. Tuesday.

The measure is expected to generate $50 million annually by levying a $298 parcel tax on property owners, with a few exceptions, starting July 1. The tax will expire in 2038.

Most of the revenue generated 75 percent, will go towards the salaries of teachers and paraeducators with a fixed, 7 percent add-on annually. The rest will go toward teacher development, compensation for non-educator school district employees, classroom and school technology and increased personnel and resources at 10 high-needs schools identified by the district as historically underserved.

Charter schools are also slated to receive some $2 million from the tax revenue.

Opponents included the Libertarian Party of San Francisco, which has criticized the measure as being an “unbelievable burden” on property owners.

The parcel tax approved under Prop. G will for the next decade overlap with a $198 parcel tax passed in 2008 under the The Quality Teacher and Education Act, which inflation has raised to $244. This means that those subject to paying the tax will be billed upward of $500 in the first year of its implementation.

But proponents have said that Prop. G would come as a significant step toward ensuring that teachers and paraeducators are paid enough to continue living and working in The City. The parcel tax was negotiated under threat of a teacher strike last year.

Prop. G is meant to supplement an 11 percent base salary increase and a one-time 3 percent bonus that resulted from a nearly nine month bargaining process between the San Francisco Unified School District and its educator union, United Educators of San Francisco. The tax was initially expected to raise educator salaries by 2 percent annually.

lwaxmann@sfexaminer.com

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