Commercial Property Transfer Tax and Charter City

Commercial Property Transfer Tax and Charter City Transition Under Consideration

The San Bruno City Council continually plans for long-term fiscal sustainability, and most recently considered a November 2022 ballot measure to implement a 1% transfer tax on the sale price of commercial properties, including apartment buildings of 5 units or more. Transfer tax is paid by commercial property sellers or buyers at time of sale. Revenue could only be used locally for City services such as public safety, parks and infrastructure maintenance. 

To implement this fiscal sustainability measure, San Bruno voters must adopt a City Charter.

In California, there are two types of cities: general law cities and charter cities. General law cities must follow the general laws passed by the State legislature. Charter cities, however, enjoy “home rule” under California Constitution, which allows more local control over key decisions like land use and local elections. General law cities cannot enact a Commercial Property Transfer Tax.

After conducting a series of public meetings (noted below), the City Council decided to not pursue a City Charter and Commercial Property Transfer Tax at their August 3, 2022 public meeting.  The measure would have required approval of the City Council to place on the November 2022 ballot, as well as a majority approval of San Bruno voters during the election.

The City Council meetings were conducted virtually on Zoom, and are available on YouTube.  Agendas and meeting material, for these and other important City meetings, are available on the Agenda Center.

For more information, visit the links below.

City Council Meeting Date Staff Reports and Material                       
August 3, 2022 Special Meeting Agenda Packet (Pg. 49)
July 12, 2022 Public Hearing #2 Agenda Packet (Pg. 121)
June 28, 2022 Special Meeting (Study Session) Agenda Packet (Pg. 27)
June 7, 2022 Special Meeting (Study Session) Agenda Packet (Pg. 53)
March 29, 2022 Public Hearing #1 Agenda Packet (Pg. 3)
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