The Glendale Quality of Life & Essential Services Measure, or Measure S, will ensure that an estimated $30 million of new funding generated will be used locally. The County, regional agencies, or special districts won't be able to take this funding in the future.
If this measure does not pass in November, it's likely that any future sales tax adopted by the County, regional agencies, and special districts would be assessed on Glendale and Glendale would only receive a small portion to improve our local neighborhoods.
This fiscal year, Glendale is expected to send $90 million to the County and regional agencies in special sales taxes, but only receive $15 million in return. For example, Glendale is projected to generate $10 million because of Measure H, which is a 0.25% sales tax increase approved by county voters in 2017 to support homeless services. Glendale is estimated to receive only $395,000 in Measure H funding.
Where do your tax dollars go?
If voters do not approve this measure, a sales tax increase of 0.75%, which is expected to raise about $30 million annually for the City of Glendale, other jurisdictions like the County or a regional agency will be authorized to approve a sales tax, and those funds will not be solely retained in Glendale. Unlike a possible County or regional agency tax, 100% of this $30 million stays in Glendale.
Other area cities see this challenge and are acting as well. Pasadena has placed the ‘Pasadena Infrastructure/Community Essential Services Protection Measure’ on the November ballot. Burbank has placed the ‘Burbank Infrastructure and Community Services Protection Act’ on the ballot.
By increasing the sales taxes to the State cap of 10.25% today, the City would prevent future sales tax increases generating revenue inside the City to be used mostly outside the City.
The current sales tax in Glendale is 9.5%, which is split by the state, the County of Los Angeles and regional agencies, and the City, which receives 1%. Of the County special taxes, a majority is for transportation projects and the remainder is for homeless services.
Today, as Glendale’s infrastructure ages and the need for affordable housing continues to grow, reducing spending without significantly impacting service levels is no longer a realistic option.
With the possibility of regional government agencies taxing Glendale to its sales tax maximum of 10.25%, Glendale must consider how it will protect funding for infrastructure, affordable housing, and essential services.