Voters in Pasadena, California will have two sales tax measures to consider on the upcoming November 6 ballot.  The first ballot measure will seek the permission of voters to increase the city's sales tax by 0.75 percent.  The second issue is whether one-third of this additional tax revenue should be directed toward Pasadena Unified Schools. 

The question related to Pasadena schools is one considered to be advisory.  The intention is to assess the interest of Pasadena voters regarding the measure.  This means that a yes vote by the public does not cause the idea to become law.  The final decision as to whether or not Pasadena schools would receive a portion of the $21 million in estimated additional sales tax revenue is under the jurisdiction of the Pasadena City Council. 

Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek says that the appearance of the question on the ballot is not politics.  Tornek says that if the voters of his city indicate that a portion of the additional sales tax revenue should be allocated to schools in the city that it will be his intent to assure their wishes are followed. 

The city of Santa Monica passed similar measures in 2010, then again in 2016.  The 2016 measures in Santa Monica included a provision for revenue sharing with Santa Monica schools. 

Mayor Tornek explains that making funds from sales tax available to schools will benefit the city of Pasadena in a variety of ways.  One way he points out is an increase in property values.  Tornek also feels the measure would make the city of Pasadena more attractive to new businesses. 

A major benefit that has been enjoyed by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is a credit upgrade to triple-A status.  This is the highest possible credit rating and has been directly attributed to the sales tax revenue made available to the school district. 

Brian Greer

Written by Brian Greer