Glendora's Measure E: March 5th
On March 5, 2019, Glendora Voters will be asked to consider implementing a transaction and use tax, more commonly referred to as a sales tax. If passed, the Measure will enact a 0.75% (3/4 cent) sales tax increase in the City of Glendora, increasing the rate from 9.5%to 10.25%.
The City of Glendora prides itself on prudent fiscal management and providing quality public services that the community expects. These services are essential to ensuring community safety and addressing quality of life issues. Over the past several years, the City has made numerous efforts to maintain a balanced budget. These efforts have included, reducing its workforce by approximately 23%, proactively addressing rising pension costs, and finding operational efficiencies such as outsourcing. Unfortunately, as expenditures continue to outpace revenue, these steps were not enough and the City Council approved a deficit budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-2019.
Budget projections show the deficit will continue to grow and without finding additional revenue sources, the City will be in a position to make further service reductions. These reductions will most likely impact services such as public safety, community services and library services, all of which are held in high regard according to the most recent Community Survey conducted in December 2018. With this in mind, the City Council organized an Ad Hoc Citizens Advisory Committee (Citizens Committee) and challenged them to analyze possible solutions to increase revenue and/or reduce costs. After months of reviewing the City’s position and budget challenges, the Citizens Committee recommended, and the City Council approved, Measure E to be placed on a March ballot.
IF PASSED WHAT WILL MEASURE E DO?
If passed, Measure E is estimated to generate $3.5 million in its first year and $5 million thereafter for the City’s General Fund. The additional revenue will allow the City to continue to provide services expected by the community, as well as address additional budget challenges, such as the costs associated with our aging infrastructure (streets/facilities), technology upgrades, pension costs, and unfunded state and federal mandates.
WHO WILL PAY FOR MEASURE E?
For clarification, Measure E is not a property tax, it is a sales tax. There is a significant difference between the two. Where a property tax is completely borne by Glendora property owners, a sales tax is shared regionally. The most recent Community Survey stated, “Approximately one-quarter (24%) of Glendora households reported they spend the majority of their retail shopping dollars in Glendora, whereas 73% indicated they spend half or less of their retail shopping dollars in the City.” This response indicates much of the sales tax dollars we receive are paid by non-Glendora residents.
The City of Glendora is not alone in its financial challenges. Many cities in the San Gabriel Valley and throughout California are problems. The November 2018 election saw 11 Los Angeles County cities seek a tax increase; all passed, including Covina, Pasadena, and Pomona.
One of the reasons the Citizens Committee felt compelled to recommend the City Council and Glendora residents consider this sales tax is the probability another agency, such as Los Angeles County, could pass a regional sales tax measure in the near future and take revenue away from local control. To illustrate, the Los Angeles County Measure H Homeless measure was passed in 2017 as a 0.25% sales tax. It is estimated this new tax generates over $1.6 million from Glendora alone; however, Glendora is only guaranteed $50,000 to prepare a Homelessness Strategic Plan. All other Measure H funds must be
applied for as grant funds. Further, in order to receive these grant funds, the City will be required to provide matching funds, which may further deplete City resources.
Additional information can be found online at www.CityofGlendora.org/MeasureE. Information on the website includes documents presented to the City Council and adopted by the City Council in order to have a special election, including a video link to these meetings. In addition, there are responses to frequently asked questions, that will be updated as new questions come in. The special election wil be run like other elections, which means you can mail in your ballot or vote in person. Please email any questions about Measure E. to MeasureInfo@CityofGlendora.org.