Navigating the Upcoming Vacant Home Tax Law

"People who own homes in San Francisco - and don't actually live in them - will be slapped with a new tax in 2025.


The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a vacant home tax law on Tuesday. Owners of vacant homes will have to file and pay the tax starting April 30, 2025, Supervisor Dean Preston said. The law will tax owners of buildings of three units or more, where a residential unit has been vacant for more than six months in a given year. The tax rate is higher for larger units, and it increases the longer a home is kept vacant.


It is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2024, with the first filing deadline set for April 30, 2025. Preston said, "We are now taking the next steps toward providing clarity for property owners and guidance for how the tax will be collected." The law was spurred in response to sky-high housing costs, and homeowners who live elsewhere.


The Budget and Legislative Analyst Office released found that 61,473 homes in San Francisco were vacant in 2021. The number of vacant homes skyrocketed from 40,000 in 2019, to over 60,000 in 2021 - a 52 percent increase in just two years, according to the report. That means that an estimated 15 percent of all homes in San Francisco are empty, the highest rate among major cities in America, the report found. The new law provides implementation details for the Empty Homes Tax ballot measure approved by 55% of voters in 2022. Preston said, 'I'm proud that the voters of San Francisco approved one of the strongest empty homes taxes in the world, which has become a model for other cities.'"


(source: KRON4)

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