San Francisco will probably see budget problems in the future as federal stopgap funding wanes partly because of increased remote work during the pandemic, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“The city’s business tax base, which is our second-largest revenue source next to property tax, is based in part on where people are working from,” San Francisco’s controller Ben Rosenfield told the publication.
Many employees in San Francisco-based technology companies and other high-paying industries worked, and continue to work, remotely. Taxes paid by companies make up about 13 percent of the city’s general fund, the newspaper reported.
According to the controller’s office, the 100 largest companies in the city saw a 14 percent decline in 2020 gross receipts compared with 2019: That amounts to a $7.9 billion drop and a corresponding decline in tax revenues for the city, the Chronicle said.
The controller’s office said that that decline is probably due in part to telecommuting, the newspaper reported.
At the same time, the city is seeing less tax revenues from other industries hit hard by the pandemic such as retail, service businesses, manufacturing, arts, entertainment, hospitality and food services.
Rosenfield told the publication that in terms of San Francisco’s future business revenue, “2022, 2023, that’s where it becomes more of a guessing game,” adding that part of the answer will depend on employers’ long-term working plans.