Supervisor Wiener Hopes Residents Who Rent Out Parking Spots Will Start Paying Their Taxes

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We all know that San Francisco is an agonizing place to park, so it's understandable that some property owners would want to capitalize on their coveted parking spots by renting them out for some extra cash.

But what these amateur entrepreneurs might not know is that they are, and have been violating San Francisco tax laws. However, Supervisor Scott Wiener has big plans to take more money from you with new legislation that will somehow make it appealing for people to pay their taxes.

As it stands today, all property owners are treated just like large parking lot operators in the eye of the law. But many of those folks don't know, or don't want to, pay the parking fees as required by law -- and they have gotten away with it.

Wiener's legislation would simplify the paperwork required to rent out spots, while kindly offering landlords some level of amnesty from back taxes they now owe. They will only be required to pay for two years' worth of owed parking taxes, and the remainder would be waived if property owners start paying up before March 30, 2013.

"It makes no sense to charge these small property owners fees that may be greater than the taxes owed and to require them to post a bond and get fingerprinted," Wiener said before today's Board of Supervisors meeting. "Paying taxes is hard enough by itself, without adding unnecessary hurdles on top.

"Simplifying the system and providing a partial amnesty will get people into compliance and increase tax revenue," he added.

It also probably means the price of your cheap parking spot just went up.

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Beyond voluntary compliance, I don't see how the City will be able to regulate what a person does with his or her own garage or parking spot.  Owners will simply ask the parking person for cash.  No paper trail.  A vindictive neighbor might complain, but probably there will be no proof. And what motorist renting a sweet spot for cash is going to rat out the owner?  It would only raise the parking rate for the renter. Supe Wiener is an extremely active legislator, going after all the details.  But I think he should concentrate on bigger issues -- affordable housing, supporting transit, improving the schools, etc.


Will this impact car sharing services, or is that parking treated separately?


The Planning Code says that a property owner of a residential building in SF must provide one parking space per each unit. Not to be rented out. If renting of spaces to people who are not residents of that building occurs it is a violation of the Planning Code. This legislation is unnecessary.

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