New Property Tax Hikes Expected to Pay for Pasadena's Battle Against Mosquitoes Capable of Transmitting Deadly Viruses

Published : Monday, July 24, 2017 | 5:18 AM

On Monday, the Pasadena City Council is expected to adopt a Joint Tax Resolution which will require the City to assess a property tax increase on Pasadena residents and businesses to pay for vector control services provided by the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District (SGVMVCD).

Pasadena’s Public Health Department earlier had said it does not have the resources to monitor or prevent the spread of mosquitoes which are capable of carrying deadly viruses such as Zika and dengue fever, and so had recommended that the District annex Pasadena and manage the City’s vector control program.

An Agenda Report by the health department shows the annual tax assessment for the funding will be $11.96 per residential property and $20 per non-residential/industrial parcel.

The joint tax resolution is required by the county Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) and the Los Angeles County tax collector before existing taxation can be transferred to the District under the annexation proposal.

Annexation into the SGV vector control district reportedly will result in enhanced vector services for Pasadena including mosquito and disease surveillance, collection and testing of birds, regular and preventive treatment of standing water and storm drainage systems to kill mosquito larvae and adult mosquitoes, education and outreach, local laboratory testing, and surge support during a local disease outbreak.

The District’s Board of Trustees has earlier approved the agreement, said Jared Dever, District Manager, and now the Pasadena City Council must sign off on the plan for the annexation to proceed.

“If the Council does approve the agreement, then at that point, we will submit that to LAFCO and LAFCO will then schedule the time for the approval and the protest hearing period to begin,” Dever said. “And once the protest hearing period, which is 30 days concludes, we have a protest hearing meeting and at that meeting, then the city is formally adopted into, into the district.”

Dever indicated the whole process could take anywhere between 60 and 90 days before the annexation becomes formal.

Even before this formal action, San Gabriel Valley Vector control personnel have been working in Pasadena under a temporary agreement signed in April. Their work has resulted in, among other benefits, the discovery that the aedes albopictus – also called Asian Tiger mosquito – exists in the City. SGV personnel said eggs from this mosquito species have been found in monitoring traps in Pasadena.

Local health officials continue to assure residents that although the Asian Tiger mosquito is present in the City, no reported cases of locally transmitted Zika or the other two viruses these mosquitoes can carry have yet been reported in Pasadena.

The Asian Tiger mosquito can also carry dengue fever and chikungunya.

Dever said with their personnel’s early presence in Pasadena, they’ve been able to measure the depth of issues that face the City and started cataloguing where mosquitoes are reproducing.

“When annexation is, is complete, I have my resources, my personnel, and our surveillance personnel, our operations personnel, very quickly moving into the city to resolve these issues,” Dever said.

Dever also stressed that although the District and the City are collaborating as much as they can in resolving the mosquito problem and preventing the occurrence of Zika and the other diseases, much of the effort will still have to be borne by the public – and every resident for that matter.

“Vector control is a shared responsibility; we have our tools, our resources, and our techniques and all of our knowledge that we’re going to bring to bear on the city. But it’s still a shared responsibility for the property owner,” Dever said. “At the end of the day, you are wholly responsible for the restriction and the production of mosquitoes on your property.”

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