June 12, 2018
City Budget Approved
The Glendale City Council approved its annual balanced budget at its regular June 12 council meeting. The 2018-2019 fiscal year budget totals $887,260,564. In addition to approving the budget, Council established the City’s fee schedule, established classification titles and compensation for various employee groups, approved Glendale Water & Power’s Public Benefit Program, and set forth rates and charges for electric service, water service, and wastewater. See the agenda report for a complete picture of the City’s budget.
Two-Block Segment of Maryland Avenue to be Renamed Artsakh Avenue
Council approved renaming a two-block segment of Maryland Avenue between Wilson Avenue and Harvard Street to Artsakh Street in honor of the Artsakh Republic.
A detailed analysis of the street renaming criteria and costs was completed prior to Council’s decision, in addition to deliberation on the matter by the City’s Planning Commission.
Sales Tax Increase Proposed
In a special meeting of the City Council, members received an update on local sales tax revenue sources. City finance staff reported that Glendale is projected to generate $90 million in sales taxes, but receive only $15 million back.
In response, staff floated the idea of a ¾ percent sales tax increase, which would generate $30 million in additional revenue annually for General Fund programs and services such as Police, Fire, Parks, and Library services. Only the Glendale City Council would have control over revenue generated by this general purpose tax. Glendale’s sales tax is currently 9.5 percent.
Fifteen other cities in Los Angeles County have recently enacted a similar sales tax increase, while Burbank and Pasadena move toward proposing a similar tax to their voters this year. The Glendale Council would have to approve to put the increase before voters by August 10, 2018 for it to appear on the November 6, 2018 ballot.
Council members were in agreement that their decision was between directly taxing Glendale residents and maintaining control over that revenue, or being taxed by regional governing bodies and receiving a small chunk of the tax dollars. City staff will return to Council with a set of options in the coming months. See the agenda report for more details.
Downtown Glendale Community Benefit District Expansion Process Moves Forward
Council approved a resolution of intention to establish the Greater Downtown Glendale Community Benefit District of 2018. The proposed greater Downtown Glendale district expands on the existing district, which was formed in 2012 to attract new customers, increase sales and occupancies in the Downtown area. The Downtown Glendale Association is the district’s governing body.
The proposed property owner-based district expands westward to include new developments west of Orange Street to Central Avenue. The expansion also extends north of the SR-134 freeway along Brand Boulevard and up to Stocker Street. The expanded district will have a larger budget to continue to fulfill its stated mission of attracting new customers, and increasing sales and occupancies in the area. See the agenda report for more details.
Federal Funding Action Plan
During a joint meeting of the Glendale City Council and the Glendale Housing Authority, Council Members and Authority Members approved an annual action plan to appropriate $3,758,621 of federal funds from the Community Development Block Grant, Emergency Solutions Grant, and HOME Investment Partnerships Act programs.
The funding will support youth and teen programs, adult counseling and case management programs, homeless programs, community programs, and a list of city and community-sponsored capital improvement projects. See the agenda report for more details.
Housing Authority Budget Approved
The $44 million budget of the City of Glendale Housing Authority was also approved during the joint meeting. Nearly 90 percent of the Authority’s budget is devoted to Section 8 Housing vouchers. The remaining 10 percent is for housing development and rehabilitation, and rental assistance to the homeless population.
Additionally, State approval of a City bond is expected to raise $7.5 million on July 1, 2018. The new money will bring the Authority’s affordable housing fund for new affordable housing projects to approximately $15 million. See the agenda report for more details.
The next Glendale City Council meeting is scheduled for July 10, 2018 at 6 p.m. at Glendale City Hall, 613 E Broadway, Glendale, CA 91206.