How is the City of Glendale performing in delivering city services and protecting quality of life in Glendale?
A recent survey of Glendale residents indicates that nearly 90% of Glendale residents rate our city as an excellent place to live, placing a high value on our prime location, safe neighborhoods and strong quality of life. This survey also indicates that 94% of residents are highly satisfied with the work of the Glendale Fire Department, and 90% of residents are highly satisfied with the work of the Glendale Police Department.
What is a Utility Users Tax (UUT)?
Since 1969, the City of Glendale has levied a tax on electricity, gas and water service to city residents. In April 2009, 66.6% of voters supported a ballot measure that reduced a portion of the UUT tax rates, and clarified its application to communications.
How much funding does the UUT generate for Glendale city services each year?
The UUT is the third largest revenue source for Glendale city services behind property tax and sales tax revenue. The gas, electric and water component of the Utility Users Tax accounts for approximately 9.5% of the City’s total general fund budget. The average monthly cost per Glendale resident for the UUT amounts to approximately $7, which is projected to generate $17.5 million in Fiscal Year 2015-16.
What services does UUT funding support?
The City of Glendale uses UUT funding to provide high quality services for Glendale residents including rapid 9-1-1 emergency response, police patrols and investigation, fire protection, street and pothole repair, parks and recreation, and library, arts and culture programs.
Why is the elimination of UUT funding being considered?
A small group of individuals collected the minimum number of signatures required to qualify an initiative for the ballot that, if approved by local voters, would eliminate Glendale’s UUT on electricity, gas and water, which is approximately 9.5% of the general fund budget and projected to generate $17.5 million in Fiscal Year 2015-16. The initiative proponents were able to gather the required minimum signatures to have this UUT funding elimination measure placed on the June 2016 ballot. This measure is not a city sponsored initiative.
What impact will the loss of UUT revenue have on public safety personnel and other city services?
Eliminating $17.5 million in annual UUT funding would require deep cuts to all city services, including police, fire and 9-1-1 emergency response services that protect Glendale residents. More specifically, eliminating UUT funding would:
Increase 9-1-1 emergency response times due to a reduction in police officer, firefighter and paramedic staffing levels
Eliminate specialized Fire Department Emergency Service personnel, including the emergency preparedness unit, the arson investigator, hazardous materials response team and the search and rescue team
Eliminate youth anti-gang and anti-drug prevention programs
Reduce pothole repair and maintenance of city streets, storm drains and other critical city facilities and infrastructure
Close most libraries in Glendale and eliminate librarians and library staff
How would these cuts to public safety services impact safety in Glendale?
Reducing police, fire and paramedic personnel, closing public safety facilities and reducing public safety services will result in a decrease in personnel available to respond to 9-1-1 emergencies and an increase in emergency response times for Glendale residents. In addition, fewer resources will be available for criminal investigations to solve crimes, anti-gang and anti-drug programs that prevent crime, and fire prevention programs that reduce the risk of a local disaster.
What has Glendale already done to reduce the city budget and spending?
As a result of the recession, the city has made deep cuts since 2008, which included the elimination of 406 city employee positions, a reduction of 25% of the city’s public workforce. The recession reduced Glendale’s operating budget by $29.5 million. An additional $17.5 million revenue reduction would mean a reduction of approximately $47 million in city funding since 2008. Given the significant reductions that have already been made, these additional reductions would require deep cuts to public services including; increased 9-1-1 emergency response times, eliminating over 50 police officers, eliminating nearly 40 firefighters, closing the equivalent of two fire stations and other cuts.
What has Glendale done to control pension costs?
Glendale became one of the first California cities to implement pension reforms to control future costs. Glendale city employees now pay a larger share of their own retirement costs than employees of any other city in the state. These reforms are saving millions of dollars by utilizing a two-tier pension system.
What is the median total compensation for full-time employees?
Would the loss of revenue be temporary or permanent?
The elimination of UUT revenue would not be temporary, and the result would be a permanent elimination of a longstanding source of revenue the city uses to provide essential services, resulting in deep cuts to vital police, fire and 9-1-1 response personnel, and other city services.
Can UUT funding be taken away by Sacramento or Washington, D.C.?
No, UUT funding is locally controlled to meet local needs in Glendale. By law, these funds cannot be taken away by the County, State or Federal Government.
What does a yes vote on the UUT funding elimination initiative mean for Glendale?
Passage of the initiative proposing to eliminate Glendale’s UUT funding would cut $17.5 million from public services, and result in increased 9-1-1 emergency response times, the elimination of over 50 police officers and nearly 40 firefighters, the closure of the equivalent of two fire stations, and other cuts.
What does a no vote on the UUT funding elimination initiative mean for Glendale?
A no vote would preserve Glendale’s $17.5 million for fiscal year 2015-16, and annually thereafter, in UUT funding that has been in place since 1969. This would maintain current 9-1-1 emergency response times, police patrols and investigations, on-duty firefighters and other services.
How do I vote on the UUT funding elimination initiative?
This initiative will appear on the June 2016 ballot. Absentee voters will receive their ballot in the mail during the first week of May. You can register to vote by visiting http://registertovote.ca.gov/.