Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Does Measure S have a sunset clause?

    No. A sunset clause specifies an expiration date for Measure S. Should we incorporate a sunset clause into the Measure, the likelihood of a regional authority having a tax waiting in the wings is very likely. This year, the City of La Mirada allowed a local sales tax to sunset March 21, 2018. While its local tax was in effect, La Mirada didn’t contribute to County voter-approved Measure H – a funding source intended to reduce homelessness in Los Angeles County. La Mirada had reached the sales tax cap of 10.25% prior to the approval of Measure H. When its local sales tax sunset, Measure H took effect. As a result, the City of La Mirada no longer has control of the 1/4% sales tax now collected by the County.  The City of La Mirada is exploring alternative revenue sources. 

  • What is Measure S?

    The measure is a local sales tax of 0.75%. If voters approve Measure S in November 2018, it is expected to generate approximately $30 million each year in dedicated, local, City-administered funds.

  • How will revenue generated by Measure S be used in the community?

    Adoption of Measure S will protect funding that, at the direction of Glendale’s City Council, could be used for a variety of neighborhood services, including but not limited to:

    • Repairing and upgrading local streets, sidewalks, and transportation infrastructure to improve pedestrian safety and traffic congestion
    • Providing affordable housing
    • Retaining and preserving police officer levels to ensure that there are enough on-duty police officers for patrolling streets, parks, and neighborhoods to prevent crime and respond quickly to 911 calls
    • Maintaining local parks, community centers, and open space
    • Maintaining current firefighter and paramedic staffing levels
    • Ensuring the City’s neighborhood fire stations are fully-staffed and open, and maintaining prompt 911 response times so residents can continue to receive quality emergency medical care
    • Continuing graffiti removal, traffic congestion improvements, landscaping, and other services to maintain what we value – clean, healthy, and safe neighborhoods
    • Supporting Glendale’s sustainability efforts to create long-term economic, social, and environmental solutions
  • Why do we need a revenue-generating measure?

    When the Great Recession hit, Glendale implemented cost-saving measures, including reducing its workforce by 337 full time positions, or 17.5%, including 40 firefighters and police officers. Even with these steps and an improving economy, beginning in fiscal year 2019-20, Glendale’s General Fund will face a budget deficit that is further expected to expand to more than $6 million per year by 2023.

    Employee Count Table

    Fiscal Year Employee Count Change from Prior Listed Fiscal Year Percent Change from Prior Listed Fiscal Year
     2005-06  1,995  ----  ----
     2008-09  1,942  - 53  - 2.7%
     2012-13  1,605  - 337  - 17.5%
     2014-15  1,520  - 85  -  5.3%
     2015-16  1,575  + 55  + 3.6%
     2016-17  1,584  + 9  + 0.6%
     2017-18  1,587  + 3  + 0.2%
     2018-19**  1,588  + 1  + 0.1%
    **Compared to when the City's employee count was the largest (2005-06), the City's employee count is 20.4% less today (2018-19).
  • Who will control the revenue from Measure S?

    The City Council will decide how to spend these funds during their annual open budget process, with feedback from Glendale’s residents and businesses.

  • How will this potential new revenue be used?

    If approved by voters, the revenue from this measure will be used to protect essential services for Glendale residents. Every cent raised will stay in Glendale, will be used locally, and will not be taken by the County, regional agencies or special districts in the future.

  • Are other local communities exploring adopting similar measures?

    Yes. Both the City of Burbank and the City of Pasadena have placed ballot measures of a 0.75% local sales tax increase before their respective voters for the November 2018 election. If passed in these communities, it will ensure that locally generated revenue in these cities will stay local and fund police and fire, aging infrastructure needs, and essential services to maintain their quality of life.

  • If Glendale does not pass Measure S, will the City’s sales tax increase in the future?

    The County of Los Angeles has a sales tax cap of 10.25%. If Glendale voters approve Measure S, local sales tax will reach that cap. However, if voters do not pass the measure and Glendale’s sales tax rate remains less than 10.25%, then any other sales tax adopted by County voters would be assessed on Glendale, yet those funds will not be used locally in their entirety.

  • If passed, when will Measure S take effect?

    If passed by the majority of voters on November 6, 2018, the sales tax will go into effect on April 1, 2019.

  • How does the sales tax work in Glendale?

    The current sales tax in Glendale is 9.5%, of which only 1% is under local control. The remainder goes to the State, County, and regional agencies. This year, Glendale is expected to send $90 million to the County and regional agencies in special sales taxes previously approved by Glendale voters for such things as Measure H, Prop. C, Prop. A, Measure M, and Measure R. However, of this $90 million locally generated in Glendale, only $15 million will return locally.

  • How can we be sure that funds generated by Measure S are spent responsibly?

    Glendale has a proven record of fiscal responsibility. Strict accountability and public oversight are built into Measure S to verify that funds are spent effectively, including independent annual financial audits and prohibiting other regional agencies and special districts from taking any of the funds.

  • What are the types of purchases that will be subject to Measure S?

    The Quality of Life and Essential Services Protection Measure, or Measure S, would apply to only taxable goods such as tangible items, and, by law, is not applied to unprocessed foods, such as groceries from a grocery store or farmers market, prescription medications, or real estate transactions.

  • How can I learn more information?

    For more information, please contact Management Services at or (818) 548-4844.

  • Are other public agencies going to ask voters to consider a regional sales tax?

    LAHSA, the Los Angeles City and County’s regional homeless authority, recently surveyed County residents about their support for a potential regional sales tax to help house the homeless. To learn more about this the challenges facing the City and County of Los Angeles, read this recent news report and Los Angeles City Clerk report on the matter of housing the homeless.

    The SCAQMD, South Coast Air Quality Management District, has been considering a possible 1/4% sales tax across the four counties it represents. While this is still in the early stages, there has been a lot of discussion on how to present this to voters by way of a ballot measure in 2020. The polling shows that SCAQMD will want to conduct more public outreach over the next two years to build familiarity with the District before 2020.

    The attached documents compile the relevant pages from the following committee agendas:

    AQMD Legislative Committee Agenda – March 2, 2018

    • ACTION ITEM: 3. Proposed Sales Tax Increase Legislative Concept for Approval
    • Attachment: Draft Legislative Proposal to Authorize a Potential Local Sales Tax Increase Ballot Measure in the South Coast Air District

    AQMD Special Legislative Committee Agenda – March 2, 2018

    • ACTION ITEM: 1. Proposed Sales Tax Increase Legislative Concept and Related Public Survey for Approval
    • Attachments:  SCAQMD Draft Legislative Proposal;  Survey created by FM3

    AQMD Legislative Committee Agenda – April 6, 2018

    • Agenda Item 1: Results of Public Survey Regarding Proposed Sales Tax Increase Proposal and Recommendation Regarding Potential Bill
    • Attachments: Complete FM3 Survey Results; FM3 Summary of Key Findings
  • What is the average pension for retired City of Glendale employees?

    The average pension for retired non-safety employees is $30,730 as of June 30, 2016. The average pension for retired safety employees is $61,940 as of June 30, 2016. We are awaiting 2017 numbers from PERS. Additional information can be found here:

  • Why local control?

    Glendale is 112 years old. That history includes a treasured story of fiscal responsibility. The City responsibly reduced its workforce by 337 employees, including 40 police officers and firefighter, during the five years following the Great Recession. Service levels were and continue to be maintained; however, every year it costs more money to upgrade and maintain the steel, concrete, and other infrastructure that make Glendale a sustainable urban environment to live, work, and play. For example, since fiscal year 2011-2012, the cost to replace a sidewalk has more than doubled from $4.50 to $10.30 per square foot. During the same timeframe, the cost per lane mile of street slurry sealed increased by over $11,500. Everything from streets to sewer lines and fire stations to parks are part of the City’s long-term budget priorities. The City can’t rely on other regional agencies to prioritize the immediate needs of the City of Glendale. Past examples have shown the City that Glendale doesn’t receive an equal share of the money it generates in sales taxes imposed by regional agencies. Measure S is a guarantee that every dollar collected in Glendale will be used to meet Glendale’s budget priorities, like maintaining a local sustainable urban environment.

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