What Would the Proposed Sales Tax Increase or “Quality of Life” Initiative Bring to Glendale
By Frank Gallo
The Glendale City Council has placed an initiative on the November 6th Ballot to increase City Sales Tax from 9.5% to 10.25%. This tax increase would represent extra $30,000,000 per year that would be going into the City’s General Fund, with no known specific use.
The City’s only reason to promote the tax is to prevent other government agencies from raising taxes and keeping the money, but the fact of the matter is that no County or State government agency has taken specific steps to increase the Sales Tax. The City is “acting on a rumor” as a City official stated.
Most Glendale Citizens have no objection to a tax increase, if in fact that funding is needed, or at least used for the benefit of Glendale citizens and businesses.
According to the City Manager, it would be up to City Council to decide how to use this cash windfall and at this time there is no evidence that the City needs the money or that it will go to necessary services. History tells us, that unnecessary taxes increases go into bloated salaries and pet projects.
In the past two fiscal years, the General Fund had a surplus of $15,000,000 the first year and $13,400,000 the following year. In both of those years the vast majority of those cash windfalls (over 85%) went into Salaries and Pensions. A lot of money has also gone into pet projects: Six years ago, the City Council authorized spending one million dollars for a consulting firm to create a “Glendale Image” that resulted in a cute tagline: “Your Life. Animated,” that doesn’t appear to have ever been used. In the past few months the Council has been considering spending additional thousands of dollars for a “Police Museum” in the Police Department Lobby. Would that be money well spent?
The City has no mandate to invest a portion of any collected taxes in community needs such as; housing, road repair, parks and recreation or other “essential services” and all the money would be placed into the City’s General Fund. Can we expect that the majority of City Council would allocate money to something different than compensation for those employees or to feel good projects? What would be different in years to come?
What’s Up Glendale encourages you to vote No on this tax increase initiative. There is no promise or guarantee that the tax money will actually go to benefit the “Quality of Life” as the ballot measure is so cleverly titled! That misleading title alone should cause some questions for all of us.
Let’s keep in mind that surrounding communities would not be increasing their sales tax as is the case of La Canada, Eagle Rock, Atwater, and maybe Pasadena (their tax increase is facing fierce opposition).
The only way that our hard earned money would not be going into already bloated salaries or wasted into unnecessary projects is to spread this information. Please post information related to a “No” vote on the proposed initiative in your local Nextdoor.com site, use your Facebook page and other social media to post information related to the increase, talk to your neighbors and friends, and network with others efficiently, to fight the City’s misleading campaign.