The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce is surveying local community members to gauge support for a three-quarter percent tax sales increase that will appear on the November ballot.
Earlier this month, the Glendale City Council voted to put a proposed three-quarter percent sales tax increase on the Nov. 6 ballot, which would increase the city’s sales tax from 9.5 percent to 10.25 percent, the same as Pasadena’s.
If approved, it could potentially generate $30 million annually.
Council members in that city said they felt the sales tax increase was necessary before Los Angeles County or the state implements similar tax hikes, which local officials fear would lead to money leaving Glendale.
Burbank, which currently has no sales tax, has also put a sales tax of 0.75 percent on the November ballot.
The Pasadena chamber’s three-question survey asks respondents if they support the tax increase and if they support using a third of $21 million it is expected to generate annually to help fund public schools. The final question allows respondents to leave a comment on the issue.
The measure concerns the Chamber of Commerce, which has not yet taken a position on the issue.
“Those who sell high-end and expensive items may be priced out of a very competitive market, especially for automobiles, computers and appliances,” wrote chamber CEO and President Paul Little. “If you tax these items to a point where our sellers are not competitive, you may also reduce tax revenues to the city. If it appears that I can save a few hundred dollars or more by purchasing a car 20 miles away, why wouldn’t I do that?”
Little said survey results will be available next week.
According to the wording of the measure, the money would be used to maintain essential services such as fire, police and paramedic. It would also be used to improve neighborhood and school safety, repair streets and sidewalks, address homelessness, and maintain after-school programs and senior services. Voters will also be asked if a third of those funds should be used to fund public education.