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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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City of Pasadena
Measure I - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


35,015 votes yes (68.74%)

15,924 votes no (31.26%)

100% of precincts reporting (59/59).

Shall an ordinance be adopted to maintain essential City of Pasadena services such as fire, police, paramedics, emergency service/response times; keep fire stations open; improve neighborhood and school safety; repair streets/sidewalks; address homelessness; maintain after-school programs/senior services, and other general fund services, by establishing a ¾¢ sales tax providing approximately $21,000,000 annually until ended by voters; requiring audits and all funds locally controlled?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Measure I is submitted to the voters by the Pasadena City Council and would amend the Pasadena Municipal Code to establish a Transactions and Use Tax, as part of the sales tax, of three quarters of one cent (3/4¢).

On July 16, 2018, the City Council of the City of Pasadena (“Council”) approved submission of an ordinance for voter approval at the November 2018 general election to amend the Pasadena Municipal Code (“PMC”) to establish a Transactions and Use Tax (“Tax”) that is part of the local sales tax. The existing sales tax is a combination of “sales and use tax” and “transactions and use tax.” This measure would increase the “transactions and use” portion of the existing sales tax. The proposed Tax will not be levied on food purchased as groceries or prescription medication, and it is not a property tax.

The Measure
If passed, Measure I would amend the PMC to impose the Tax. The Tax would be a local tax for general purposes to fund, enhance, and maintain City services, with the rate set at three quarters of one cent (3/4¢), but would not apply to food purchases, prescription medications, and is not a property tax. Monies from the proposed Tax would be deposited in the City’s General Fund to be used for general governmental purposes, such as repairing aging infrastructure, maintaining public services for residents, and providing services to the homeless. The amount of Tax revenue would depend on the gross receipts of local sales, and is anticipated to provide approximately $21,000,000 annually unless and until ended by voters. The measure would also require that such Tax funds be subject to annual independent audits with public review of the City’s budget being widely available, including at City Hall, online, and at the City’s public libraries. The State cannot take any of these funds.

Measure I is not dependent on the passage of a separate, advisory measure (Measure J) also on the November 2018 ballot that, if passed, would not be binding but would advise the City to spend two-thirds of the Tax revenue on City services such as those mentioned above, and one-third of the Tax revenue on supporting Pasadena public schools.

Measure I requires approval of a majority of voters. A “yes” vote for Measure I will establish a Pasadena Transactions and Use Tax as part of the local sales tax. A “no” vote against Measure I will not establish such a Tax.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

There are TWO major reasons for voting YES on Measure I.

First, Pasadena’s ability to maintain essential municipal services including fire, police and emergency 911 medical services is becoming more difficult because of reduced revenues and increasing operating costs.

Without additional revenue, the City has and will be forced to reduce essential city services beginning next year. That will affect property values and our quality of life.

To help maintain essential services and pay for critical infrastructure like fire station, street and sidewalk repairs, the City must secure a reliable, locally-controlled source of funding that cannot be taken by another government entity.

The second reason is based on simple fairness.

Under current state law, sales taxes in Pasadena can only be increased another three-quarter percent (0.75%) before it reaches the state-imposed limit. Los Angeles County has already imposed 5 sales tax increases on Pasadena which annually generate $63 million. The County keeps 83% of that sales tax revenue for its own projects. It’s very likely Los Angeles County will act in the near future to raise sales taxes again. If we do nothing and wait for Los Angeles County to impose this sales tax increase, history indicates Pasadena won’t get much of it.

However, if we make the first move and vote YES on Measure I to impose this final amount of sales tax ourselves before Los Angeles County can do it, the City of Pasadena keeps 100% of the revenue for local use.
100% for us.

So, vote YES on Measure I for two reasons. First, a YES vote will allow the City of Pasadena to maintain essential city services. Second, a YES vote guarantees that this much-needed revenue will go 100% to the City of Pasadena.

Mayor of Pasadena

Vice Mayor
City of Pasadena

City Councilmember



Arguments AGAINST


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