ll not only be voting in the Presidential primary election, they will also be voting on Measure N. If you haven’t had the time to educate yourself, please do. Utility User Taxes (UUTs) in California are taxes that cities and counties are allowed to impose on the consumption of certain utility services. As of September 2008, city and county UUTs generated about $2 billion per year in tax revenues. About 154 California cities and four counties have a UUT. In nearly all these cases, the UUT was adopted prior to 1996 through a vote of the city council or the County Board of Supervisors. However, after the 1996 passage of Prop 218, to pass such a tax the voters who would be paying the tax had to approve it directly through voting on a ballot measure.
It’s a tax placed on monthly residential and commercial energy bills: water 7%, gas 7%, electric 7% and communications 6.5%. Overall, the UUT accounts for $28.25 million in General Fund revenues for the City of Glendale, which constitutes 15.2% of the total budget. That’s the City of Glendale’s third largest revenue source, behind sales and property taxes. Without UUT funding, there would be a significant reduction of crucial public safety services and an impact on the City’s ability to operate as a full-service city.
As noted in the fiscal impact reports, elimination of the UUT will likely require the City to contract out police and fire services to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. Ramifications for police and fire departments could include the following: the elimination of up to 53 full-time sworn police officer positions, closure of the DNA Crime Lab and up to two police substations, the elimination of 37 firefighter positions and a reduction in the number of on-duty paramedics, closure of traffic bureau and dismissal of its personnel, fire station staffing reductions to three person engines and the elimination of the Station 26 engine company and the elimination of the anti-gang and anti-drug youth programs.
In case you didn’t know, the Glendale Police Dept. has fewer officers per capita than many cities in California. Glendale has 1.21 officers to every 1000 people, Burbank has 1.5 police officers per 1000, Pasadena 2.01 per 1000 and Santa Monica has 2.37 per 1000. Glendale has approximately 250 police officers. To match the city of Santa Monica they would need to add 235 officers. That number is astounding.
The GPD not only provides basic law enforcement safety to the City, it has a K9 Unit, a SWAT team, and an AB109 task force [which supervises the probation population]. It works in collaboration with the DEA and the Office of Homeland security to arrest known convicts and it houses a regional DNA crime lab. That really is amazing. We are getting our money’s worth with our police and fire departments. Please remember that these are designated funds and cannot be redirected to pay for any other City needs. They must be used for the services that they are dedicated for. There continue to be many state and federal budget cuts that affect all the cities and counties within the state of California. These small fees that you pay are a very cost-effective way to ensure that many of our vital resources in Glendale will not be jeopardized.
The Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce is supporting a No Vote on Measure N. Remember N is for No.
Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce: Your source for all things local! Our mission is to actively support and enrich the community, vitality and pride of Montrose, to help preserve the historic district and small town atmosphere, to promote economic stability and positive, productive relationships within Montrose and the surrounding communities.
Glendale votes on Tuesday, June 7 in the special election in conjunction with the Presidential Primary Election.
June business mixer is on Wednesday, June 1 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.