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San Francisco Small Businesses Get Tax Break Amid Virus Spread

March 12, 2020, 1:06 AM

San Francisco small businesses, already hammered by fallout from the new coronavirus, will get a tax deferral on city taxes.

Mayor London Breed said Wednesday the deadline for prepayment of first quarter tax filings for businesses with up to $10 million in gross receipts would be delayed from April to next February. The deferral is part of a broader package aimed at blunting the economic impact from reduced business.

The city said the move would help more than 8,000 businesses with an average $5,400 tax payment. Business license fees will be also deferred for three months.

The virus’s impact on businesses and taxes is expected to increase with San Francisco banning mass gatherings of more than 1,000, affecting everything from Golden Gate Warriors basketball games to religious services.

San Francisco’s tax revenues are taking a hit from 190,000 hotel room nights canceled since Covid-19 began affecting the region, Breed told supervisors on Tuesday. That figure rose to 235,000 by Wednesday morning, Controller Ben Rosenfeld said.

“Our hotels are emptying out very quickly. This kind of level of occupancy is actually worse than what we felt immediately after Sept. 11th,” he said.

The city anticipated a $420 million shortfall in the two-year budget before the coronavirus impact.

“The loss in the coming quarters will be in the tens of millions. The question is just how many tens of millions,” Rosenfeld said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joyce E. Cutler in San Francisco at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeff Harrington at; Colleen Murphy at