Petition to end Glendale utility users tax fails

A petition to repeal a 7% tax tacked onto Glendale utility bills failed to garner enough signatures to make it onto the April 2015 ballot.

The petition to get rid of the utility users tax, which has been on the city’s books for more than four decades, fell 198 signatures short of the required 2,192 signatures necessary to get on the ballot, according to a city statement released Tuesday.

FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated enough signatures were not collected for the June ballot. The signatures were being collected for the April 2015 ballot.

A group of four Glendale residents, along with political-action committees that aim to reduce taxes, collected about 2,523 signatures, but hundreds were invalidated by the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder’s Office during the verification process.

But the shortfall hasn’t deterred those behind the petition, said Ken Landon, a Glendale resident who helped spearhead the petition efforts.

“It’s not going to stop us. We will pursue it in the future,” Landon said.

Mike Alexander, president of the Pasadena-based California Tax Limitation Committee and Taxed Enough Already political action committees, guided Glendale during the development process.

His groups are also working on abolishing similar utility users’ taxes in Pasadena and Arcadia, and he plans to eventually stretch into Los Angeles.

Glendale collects nearly $28 million annually, or about 17% of its roughly $170 million operating budget, from the utility users’ tax. City officials have said if the repeal were successful, the city budget would suffer and several city services, such as library systems as well as parks and community- service programming would be on the chopping block.


Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.


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