Survey: Glendale residents open to new taxes

Residents are open to new taxes to pay for parks, libraries and public safety services, according to a citizenship satisfaction survey compiled on the city’s behalf.

The scientific survey, which was presented to the City Council this week, found that 79% of the 400 respondents “were likely or very likely to be comfortable voting” for such a parcel tax.

The survey, conducted by the Rose Institute of State and Local Government, a nonprofit research institute at Claremont McKenna College, had a margin of error of about 5%.

The survey questions asked respondents if they would support an “assessment district” for public services, but did not use the word tax. The two terms are interchangeable.

The City Council last week hired a Los Angeles consultant for about $80,000
to look into whether voters would approve a proposed tax measure on the June ballot.

City officials have said they need to increase revenue to continue operating at the same level of service due to the financial hit the city took during the recession and because of the end of redevelopment, a state program that sent extra property tax dollars that Glendale used to develop blighted areas and pay for some city salaries.

The consultant, Cerrell Associates, plans to submit more survey data about voters’ sentiment regarding proposed tax measures. If the council approves placing items on the ballot, the city may hire Cerrell Associates to drum up voter support.

Officials have said that the failure of several measures to change city processes in April motivated them to hire a consultant before putting more measures on the upcoming ballot.

The survey reached out to a cross-section of residents of different ages, incomes and backgrounds. Most, 71%, were older than 45. More than a quarter earned less than $25,000 annually, 21% said they earned $25,000 to $50,000 a year and 19% said they earned between $50,000 and $100,000.

About half of the respondents identified as Armenian, the city’s largest minority group, 20% as white, 11% as Korean, and 10% as Latino.

The survey also found:

69% of respondents said the city was headed in the right direction

84% of Latinos, 73% of Armenians, 70% of Koreans, and 51% of whites said the city was headed in the right direction

72% said they were “satisfied” and 13% said they were “very satisfied” with city services

Respondents said what they liked best about Glendale were its sense of safety (31%) and community (19%)

77% of respondents said that they visit downtown Glendale at least once a month, while 45% said they visit Historic Old Town Montrose once a month

Respondents liked commuting/traffic least (33%), with 29% saying they loved everything about the city

The most frequently suggested items for improvement were affordable housing (42%) and traffic (27%)

63% seldom or never watch Glendale’s public access channel and 59% do not use the city’s website for information

35% said they always voted in city elections, 26% said they have never voted, 21% said they rarely voted and 18% said they usually vote

Doug Johnson, a fellow at the Rose Institute, told the council that the survey results showed that people were happy with Glendale. He said the Rose Institute has done similar surveys in Monrovia, Duarte and Pomona.

“This is definitely the most positive,” he said.

To see the full survey, visit

-- Brittany Levine,

Follow on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.


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