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Council Adopts UUT Repeal Plan

Scenario includes deep service cuts, layoffs if anti-tax measure passes

Post Date:09/20/2018 10:45 AM

The City Council has adopted a financial plan that would cut $3.4 million from the municipal budget if a challenge to the City’s Utility Users Tax (UUT) is approved by voters in November.

The proposed cuts include layoffs in the police, fire, library and community service departments, along with substantial reductions in planned street repairs and maintenance.

 “This plan shows clearly that the loss of the UUT would bring about a significant and long-lasting reduction in the quality of life in South Pasadena,” said Mayor Richard Schneider. “Everyone in our community would be affected.”

The UUT is the City’s second largest source of revenue, said City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe, and accounts for about 12 percent of the general fund. The UUT places a 7.5 percent levy on utilities such as cable television, water, electricity and phone service.

The UUT is being challenged by a Pasadena-based group that has gathered the required signatures to place a repeal on the November ballot.

The City is obligated to prepare for the loss of UUT revenue through a draft implementation plan, DeWolfe said. The plan was informed by the results of a recent community survey that asked South Pasadena residents, among other topics, which services they would cut if the UUT were to be repealed.

The draft implementation plan adopted by the Council September 19 includes:

  • Layoffs of 12 public safety employees, including three paramedic-firefighters and six police cadets.
  • The elimination of all City crossing guards, police air support, and a school safety officer.
  • Full public library closures on Sundays and Mondays, reduced hours all other days, and the elimination of all library special programs, technology upgrades and capital improvements.
  • Reduction of about $1 million a year in street repairs and maintenance.
  • Elimination of the entire recreation department and all of its programs, including those for seniors and children.
  • Elimination of community-based crime-prevention programs.

The Council voted unanimously to adopt the draft implementation plan, which would return to the Council for final approval if the UUT repeal is successful in November.