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Taxing vacancies

In 2014, SPUR released a study estimating that there were more than 30,000 housing units that were vacant in San Francisco, out of 376,899 total housing units. There were many different reasons for their vacancies — the unit was for sale, they were rented but not occupied, there were seasonal or other uses for the units — but some city leaders are looking to force landlords of vacant units to either rent them or pay a vacancy tax.

In early July, District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin asked the city attorney’s office to look at how the city could tax property owners of vacant units. He said he was concerned about “the overwhelming number of vacancies, both commercial and residential, that continue to contribute to our housing crisis as well as the displacement and struggles of our small businesses.”

 

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