Landlords could soon face a tax on commercial properties left vacant for more than 182 days in a year. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Supes give final approval to expansion of proposed vacancy tax

In a second and final vote Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors expanded the areas where a commercial vacancy tax would apply should voters approve of the levy in March.

The board held a special meeting Tuesday to approve the legislation and ensure it would become law in time for the tax measure vote on March 3. The board did not have a regular meeting scheduled this week due to the Monday holiday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The legislation, approved in a 10-0 vote, expands the vacancy tax to apply to 12 more neighborhood commercial districts in addition to the 28 it already covered, as previously reported by the San Francisco Examiner.

All 11 board members were present, but Supervisor Hillary Ronen was recused from the vote since her home is located within 500 feet of one of the added areas.

The mayor has 10 days to sign the legislation into law, but with or without her signature it will go into effect on March 1.

The vacancy tax, Proposition D, would impose a tax on landlords of commercial space for leaving a space empty for more than 182 days in a year. The tax starts at $250 per linear foot in 2021 and increases to $1,000 in 2023.

The vacancy tax was introduced by Supervisor Aaron Peskin and placed on the ballot through a board vote.

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