Statement in Support of the Proposed Petition and Proposed Language for the Petition to Repeal Glendale’s UUT
Statement in Support of the Proposed Petition
to Repeal the Glendale Utility User’s Tax
The principal argument in favor the proposed legislation is set forth in the “preamble:”
“WHEREAS, the people of the City of Glendale find and declare that federal, state and local taxation has reached confiscatory levels; that unrestrained spending and regulation at all levels of government, are excessive, improvident, contrary to our rights as a free people and are thereby destructive of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The City of Glendale is no exception to the general rule that government spends more money and incurs more debt than the people can, or ought to, bear. The Glendale Utility User’s Tax is a highly regressive tax that takes more than $26.8 million dollars out of the local economy each year, much of it from those who can least afford it: families, the elderly, the unemployed, and those on fixed income. It forces businesses and citizens to pay a tax on their water, electricity, telephones, cell phones and cable television.
In the midst of a deep California recession — some say a depression — the City of Glendale continues to spend money that neither they nor its citizens have. Our fair city is part of a statewide debt crisis in which total state, county and local debt exceeds $1 trillion dollars. All of this is in addition to massive federal debt.
From 2001 through 2012, Glendale’s population declined by 4.5%. During the same period the city’s “budget” increased by 62% rising from $438 million to an astonishing $700.9 million!
Despite escalating revenues over the last 10 years, Glendale has failed to acknowledge, much less address, the scandal of unfunded employee pension obligations and the even greater scandal of gold- plated employee compensation packages that vastly exceed the pay and benefits of the average taxpayer. For example, in Fiscal Year 2012, the city reports that 595 municipal employees earned over $100,000 and 10 of them made more than $200,000. This is cash compensation only. Health, benefits and retirement contributions will easily add 33% to this number. During the same time, the average Glendale resident earned only $42,000.00. The City of Glendale continues to hire, tax and spend even though it has not paid for the obligations already incurred.
Because city leaders are either unable or unwilling to control spending and manage resources, Glendale citizens must take direct action to ensure that they do so. Reducing city revenue will force them to manage competently rather than perpetually seeking new ways to tax us. Repealing the Glendale Utility Tax will only reduce 4% of a “budget” that has grown by 62% in the last decade. If they cannot manage a 4% reduction in revenue, then we must do it for them.
PROPOSED LANGUAGE AND CONTENT FOR THE INITIATIVE
The City Attorney for the City of Glendale has prepared the following circulating title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure:
[Title and Summary]
Stop the Utility Users’ Tax (“UUT”)
THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF GLENDALE DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. FINDINGS and DECLARATIONS
WHEREAS, the people of the City of Glendale find and declare that federal, state and local taxation has reached confiscatory levels; that unrestrained spending and regulation at all levels of government, are excessive, improvident, contrary to our rights as a free people and are thereby destructive of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness; and
WHEREAS, it is the intent and purpose of this initiative that the current City of Glendale utility taxes be repealed and that a new provision be added to the municipal code to provide that a person residing or doing business in the City of Glendale shall not be legally held or obligated to pay, collect, or remit taxes, fees, charges or assessments, imposed or collected for the use, generation, sale, lease, purchase, supply, provision, transportation or delivery of any utility goods or services.
Section 2. The following sections of the Glendale Municipal Code are hereby repealed: Sections Sections, 4.36.020, 4.36.030, 4.36.040, 4.36.045, 4.36.050, 4.36.060, 4.36.065, 4.36.070, 4.36.075, 4.36.080, 4.36.090, 4.36.100, 4.36.110, 4.36.115, 4.36.120, 4.36.125, 4.36.130, 4.36.140, 4.36.145, 4.36.150, 4.36.160 and 4.36.170.
Section 3. The Glendale Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding a new Section 4.36.200 to read as follows:
4.36.200 The City of Glendale, its City Council, agents and employees are hereby prohibited from
enacting or enforcing any ordinance, rule or regulation which creates, imposes or causes a legal obligation for any person, business, organization, property owner or entity, regardless of place of residence, nationality or principal place of business, to pay, remit, or collect any tax, fee, charge or assessment, for the generation, sale, lease, purchase, supply, provision, use, transportation or delivery of any utility goods or services, to include, but not limited to, gas, telephone, telecommunication services, cable, water, video services, and electricity.
Section 4. Name of Measure and Effective Date.
This law shall be known as the Stop the Utility Users’ Tax and shall become effective immediately upon approval by the voters of the City of Glendale.
Section 5. Severability
The provisions of this initiative are severable. If any provision of this measure or application thereof is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications if they can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.
Section 6. Proponents of Measure Authorized to Defend
(a) Any provision of the Glendale Municipal Code to the contrary notwithstanding, any person or persons described in Section 6 (b) below are hereby authorized and deemed to have standing to defend this initiative where a court of competent jurisdiction shall determine, upon application of such person or persons, or any one or more of them, that (i) the validity of this initiative, its application or any provision thereof has become the subject of legal action, whether judicial or administrative or (ii) the City of Glendale or other constitutional officer shall fail or refuses to defend this initiative in good faith.
(b) Person or persons, as used in Section 5 (a) shall include (i) any person or entity required to pay any sum described by this initiative; (ii) any proponent of this initiative; or (iii) any one or more of them.
Section 7. Repeal of This Measure
This measure may not be repealed except by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the qualified voters casting ballots in the election in which the repeal of this measure is before the voters of the City.