San Francisco Tax May Deter Foreclosures

City officials propose taxing banks that reposses properties.

San Francsico city officials have proposed an initiative for the November ballot that would put tax on banks when they repossess a property.

Supervisor John Avalos will present the Foreclosure Fairness Initiative at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday night. Avalos is a co-author of the bill.

Current city law exempts banks from paying a tax that applies when deeds are transferred. This initiative to do away with the exemption. According to the San Francisco Examiner, the resulting tax for banks would amount to a few thousand dollars per foreclosure.

City Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting says the initiative was not designed to raise money. Rather, the hope is that the new tax will cause banks to think twice about foreclosing on homes, and perhaps curb the rate of foreclosures in the city.

State law requires that voters approve any new taxes. If the Board of Supervisors approves the initiative, it would go on the November ballot.

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