A measure to increase Glendale’s sales tax to 10.25%, up from 9.5%, passed at the polls Tuesday night.
With all precincts reporting, 18,472 votes, or 52.94%, were cast in favor of the 0.75% tax hike known as Measure S, while 16,422 voters, or 47.06%, didn’t support it, according to unofficial results.
Projected to raise $30 million annually, city officials said the tax hike will generate money they need to fund affordable housing and street repairs, as well as fire and police service.
Glendale residents outside a polling station at the Glendale police headquarters on election night were divided over the measure.
“I know no one wants to pay more taxes, but, as a collective, there are certain things we need to do ... to have the services that we have,” Mark Cooper, 58, said.
Meanwhile, Alfred Tahmasebi, 22, said he felt the services the city was requesting funds for were good causes, but the price tag was too high.
“That’s money that could be implemented into different aspects of life here in Glendale, such as public schools and hospitals and what not,” Tahmasebi said. “As far as us bumping up another $30 million, when it comes to paramedics and officers, that’s a little bit too much, in my opinion.”
City Council members, who voted unanimously in July to place the measure on the ballot, have not decided exactly how the money will be spent, according to Glendale City Councilman Vartan Gharpetian.
However, to ensure transparency, the city will create a separate account for the money that the new tax generates so the public can track where it goes, Gharpetian said late last month.