Judge Orders Changes in UUT Ballot Measure Language

On April 6, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert O’Brien issued a writ of mandate striking out language in the ballot argument in favor of Measure N, the ballot measure proposed by Glendale residents that could eliminate $17,500,000, or 9.5% annually, from the City’s general fund budget.

In a challenge brought by Glendale City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian, the city’s elections official, the court agreed with the city’s attorneys that the ballot argument in favor of Measure N, which could repeal the City’s Utility Users’ Tax, contained false and misleading statements. In particular, the court agreed with the city’s attorneys that the contention in the ballot argument that Measure N will require only a 2% budget cut was false and misleading. The city demonstrated that the elimination of the UUT will result in a 9.5% annual reduction in the city’s general fund budget, which is used to pay for general city services, such as police, fire, 9-1-1 emergency response, parks and libraries.

“We are pleased that the court agreed that the ballot argument cannot contain misleading statements and must acknowledge and disclose the fiscal impacts of Measure N,” said City Attorney Michael Garcia.

Measure N, the initiative to eliminate the Utility Users Tax, has been placed on the June 7, 2016 Special Election Ballot.

A small group of individuals collected signatures to qualify the initiative for the ballot that, if approved, by local voters, could permanently eliminate Glendale’s Utility User’s Tax (UUT) on electricity, gas and water. Glendale’s UUT generates $17.5 million in locally controlled annual revenue and has been in place since 1969. It is the third largest source of revenue for Glendale City services. This measure was put on the ballot by a signature gathering process initiated by a small group of private citizens and is not a city-sponsored initiative.

Eliminating $17.5 million in annual UUT funding could require deep cuts to all city services, including police, fire and 9-1-1 emergency response services that protect Glendale residents.

To learn more about Measure N, visit GlendaleUUT.com.