San Francisco, CA, vacant property registry adds commercial vacant property tax ordinance

San Francisco, CA: The voluntary vacant property registration for the City has had a vacancy tax ordinance for commercial properties added.


Owners of commercial properties that have been vacant for at least 183 days of a tax year may be subject to a tax based on the total linear feet of the ground floor of a commercial building’s front space adjacent or tangent to a public right of way (its “frontage”), and the amount of time the commercial space has been vacant.


A property is deemed vacant if it has been “unoccupied, uninhabited, or unused for more than 182 days, whether consecutive or nonconsecutive, in a tax year,” per the ordinance.


The ordinance charges $250 per linear foot of frontage the first year of vacancy, then increases to $500 per linear foot for properties vacant for the second consecutive tax year, and caps at $1000 per linear foot for properties vacant for the third consecutive year and for each additional consecutive year.


Some exceptions exist for properties with permitted renovations or repairs underway, and properties vacant due to natural disasters or fire.

The tax will go into effect Jan 1, 2021.




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