Sales taxes are collected for certain goods and services and are generally collected from the consumer at the point of purchase. Gross receipts taxes are levied on the total gross revenues of a company, regardless of their source. Sales and gross receipt tax revenue from businesses can be strong indicators of local economic health, and can make up about 15% of local tax revenues. A healthy economy can indicate growth in neighborhood serving businesses, whose presence can reduce dependence on cars, improve access to daily goods and services, promote small business development and increase opportunities for social interaction and reduce crime. Increasing tax revenue can support expanded government services. Additionally, business growth may also create more job opportunities. However, it is important to note whether the jobs produced hire local residents and provide benefits that promote health, such as health insurance.
Between 2011 and 2015, the total sales and gross receipts taxes collected rose in both the city and the CMTL area. Greater growth occurred between 2011 and 2013, with tax revenues increasing by 18% in the CMTL area and 12% citywide. Between 2013 and 2015, revenues increased by 9% in the CMTL area and 8% citywide.
In 2012, San Francisco residents voted to get rid of the payroll tax in lieu of a gross receipts tax. These changes commenced on January 1, 2014.
San Francisco Treasurer and Tax Collector, 2011-2015.