San Francisco

SF City Attorney Announced Victory in 2018 Prop. C Lawsuit

Homeless in San Francisco
NBC Bay Area

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera on Wednesday announced the city can now start receiving funds from the November 2018 voter-approved Proposition C after the California Supreme Court declined to review the case.

Prop. C, or the Gross Receipts Tax for Homelessness Services, passed with 61% of the vote in 2018, and the tax has since generated millions in revenue.

The funds, however, have been tied up in a legal battle due to a lawsuit brought by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and others, which argued the tax needed a two-thirds vote to pass.

A San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled last year that the tax is legal. That ruling was appealed and a state appellate court upheld it this summer.

In a statement, Herrera said he was pleased with the state Supreme Court decision Wednesday.

"It was lonely there for a while, but as we have said since the City of Upland decision was handed down, we're confident that when voters act through the initiative process, a simple majority is required. We were the first public law office to take that position, and we were proud to do so, because we had the facts, the law and the will of the people on our side. From the beginning, this case has been about upholding the will of the voters. San Francisco voters have the right to direct democracy and self-government. We're pleased that this legal victory will free up millions of dollars to provide services, housing and mental health treatment for those in our City who most desperately need it. That is what the voters wanted when they passed Proposition C in November 2018. That is what this victory secures."

Mayor London Breed on Twitter called the news a "massive victory," adding that the funding is critical for the city's Homeless Recovery Plan, announced in July. The plan, among other initiatives, aims to create 1,500 new units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless people.

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