City of Glendale
Measure S Revenue Appropriation
The City Council cannot tell the public where Measure S revenue will be spent each year. In order for City Council to specify how the revenue will be spent, it would have required a 2/3rds vote by the voting public, something Council members knew would never pass.
Under the California Constitution, there is a clear differentiation between a “General Tax” and a “Special Tax.”
A “Special Tax” means any tax imposed for specific purposes, including a tax imposed for special purposes, which is placed into a General Fund. Common types of special taxes are typically taxes created by schools, libraries, hospitals, or local governments for protection services, acquisition of open space, or for a transportation project. Due to the specific nature associated with the use of these funds, “Special Taxes” must be approved by a 2/3rds majority of the qualified voters in the service area, which is usually the jurisdictional area of the local government agency that initiates the “Special Tax.”
A “General Tax” is intended to raise general-purpose revenues. Counties and cities may use revenues from a “General Tax” for any lawful public purpose upon its approval by a majority of the jurisdiction’s voters.
It is true that the Measure S is a General Tax. It is also true that a local community’s needs change over time, requiring the refocusing of local resources from one segment of the community, project, initiative, or citywide operation to another. As such, it would be imprudent and short sighted to irrevocably limit locally generated revenues for a single specific purpose through the passage of a “Special Tax.”
Given this dynamic, any or all portions of the revenue generated by Measure S would be appropriated by the Glendale City Council, in accordance with open meeting laws where the public has an opportunity to address their support or objection to how any City funds are utilized. Further, the City undergoes an annual review by outside auditors, and all funds generated through the passage of Measure S would be included in that review and findings made available to the public.