Published : Monday, January 29, 2018 | 6:24 AM
Pasadena’s Finance Department will seek the City Council’s endorsement of a proposed fiscal strategy that it said is intended to maintain most City service levels and address needed capital investment by, among other steps, supporting a .75 cent per dollar (3/4 quarters of one cent per dollar) city sales tax.
As shown in an Agenda Report prepared by Finance Director Matthew Hawkesworth, the proposed strategy would, in addition to cost-saving and continued fiscal discipline, provide a solution to the City’s budget challenges, including a growing budget deficit.
Hawkesworth points to Mayor Terry Tornek’s sales tax measure proposal, as outlined in his State of the City Address, as the primary component of a solution that would help the City balance its budget, maintain service levels, and reinvest in critical infrastructure.
The Finance Department indicated a sales tax measure could be implemented through the voter approval of a Transaction and Use Tax district, with such a vote taking place in November 2018, assuming the City moves forward to change its regular schedule for elections.
“State law provides that individual cities may form one or more transaction and use tax districts as long as the total tax levy, including the rate of countywide districts, does not exceed two percent,” the department said in the Agenda Report. “According to the State Board of Equalization, agencies in Los Angeles County that do not currently have a transaction tax have the ability to approve a tax measure up to three-quarter percent without the need for special legislation.”
Director Hawkesworth is expected to present the proposed fiscal strategy in detail during Monday’s City Council meeting.
Once the City Council endorsed the plan, Finance Department staff will return to the City Council so the Councilmembers could proceed with a revenue measure and an advisory vote on the November 2018 ballot.
The City Council meeting starts with a closed session at 5:30 p.m., and proceeds to the public meeting at 6:30 p.m.