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Ride-hailing tax squeaking through [Correction]

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Fees on Lyft and Uber rides barely ahead of the margin

A banner indicating a Lyft and Uber pick-up area on a street. Photo by fitzcrittle

Update: On Wednesday the Department of Elections counted absentee ballots, and Prop D’s share of the vote rose to more than 66.7 percent. This is still not the final result, but the city hopes to have all ballots counted by Friday.

Although mail-in and provisional ballots still need to be counted, the Department of Elections reports that Proposition D, which would fund public transit via an extra fee on trips with ride-hailing apps, could be on its way to accruing just enough votes to pass.

The measure, introduced by Supervisor Aaron Peskin and Mayor London Breed, needs at least 66.6 percent of the vote—Prop. D stands at 66.66 percent per the initial count.

The city recorded a total of 112,165 ballots cast for Prop. D, meaning that the fee plan needed at least 74,701 yes votes. Wednesday’s results showed the proposition netting 74,765, winning by just a few dozen backers. Prop. D also ended up with a fairly small number of under-votes (voters who did not bother to cast a vote for or against the measures) at 3,069.

If finally confirmed, Prop. D will add a 1.5 percent surcharge on shared rides and 3.25 percent on solo rides with ride-hailing apps in the city.

The estimated $30-$35 million generated annually by the tax would go toward Muni and other transit goals. The fee would stay in place until the 2045.

All of the major ride companies backed Prop. D, meaning that it had no real substantive opposition in campaigning ahead of the vote.

But the two-thirds requirement—combined with uncertainty on whether or not voters would back a fee that companies could pass onto them—left the measure’s fate in doubt until late Tuesday night.

The vote count is not yet final, and the outcome of the proposition could still change.

In October, a poll showed impressive public support for Prop. D, but at the time not, enough to garner the supermajority it needed.

Correction: We initially reported that Proposition D passed without considering mail-in ballot counts. We have updated the piece to note that the full count has yet to be tallied.