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Los Angeles County, CA March 8, 2005 Election
Measure SouthPasadena---L
Extension of Special Tax for Library
City of South Pasadena

2/3 Majority Approval Required

3,693 / 83.6% Yes votes ...... 726 / 16.4% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall the ordinance extending the Library Special Tax to June 30, 2011 in order to provide funding of the maintenance and operations of the South Pasadena Public Library at the current level of library services be adopted?

Impartial Analysis from City Attorney
This measure would extend the effective date of the current Library special tax to June 30, 2011, a six-year period. The amount of the tax would continue at the same level approved by the voters in March of 1999. That effective date of the special tax can only be extended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those voting on the measure.

Currently, pursuant to Section 2.89-4 of the South Pasadena Municipal Code, any revenue generated by the special tax can only be used for maintenance, operating, and administrative costs of the Library. That restricted use of the special tax revenue would continue to apply if the measure is adopted.

The annual rate by category for the special tax would also continue at the current rates, which are:

1. Single family residences and condominiums pay $24.00 if they are less than 2,000 square feet; $36.00 if between 2,001 and 4,000 square feet; $48.00 if over 4,000 square feet. "Square feet" refers to square feet of Building Areas as determined by the Los Angeles County Assessor.

2. Multi-family residential units, such as apartment buildings, pay $12.00 per Dwelling Unit on the parcel.

3. Non-residential parcels pay $24.00 per parcel if one-quarter (1/4) acre or less; $48.00 per parcel if over one-quarter (1/4) acre but one-half (1/2) acre or less; $72.00 per parcel if over one-half (1/2) acre but three-quarters (3/4) acre or less; $96.00 per parcel if more than three-quarters (3/4) acre.

4. The following types of property would remain exempt from the tax:

1. Parcels owned by charitable or community service organizations or churches that qualify for an exemption from ad valorem taxation under California law.

2. Vacant parcels.

3. Parcels owned by the federal, state or local government, or any state or local agency.

4. Any owner who has income, adjusted for family size, at or below eighty percent (80%) of the area median income as determined under the Section 8 Income Limits for Los Angeles County. (These limits are published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.)

In addition to the foregoing, the following restrictions would also continue:

If in any year the City Council does not budget and appropriate sufficient funds for the basic level of library services, the special tax would be fixed at a reduced level in relation to any reduction in the budget.

Any surplus amounts raised by the special tax in any one year may only be used for the purposes described in South Pasadena Municipal Code Section 2.89-4, and must be carried over to the following fiscal year. The existence of a surplus in one year must be considered by the City in levying the special tax for the next year.

The term of the special tax, if approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the voters voting on the measure, will be extended for six (6) years (from June 30, 2005 through June 30, 2011) and any further extension must be approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the voters voting on such extension at another municipal election.

The special tax will continue to be collected by the Los Angeles County Assessor in the same manner as property taxes.

Stephen P. Pfahler, City Attorney

  Official Information

City of South Pasadena Election Website
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Arguments For Measure SouthPasadena---L

Without this measure, our library faces drastic cuts in library staff and hours, such as closing the library two days a week, including Sunday - the busiest day of the week. There would be substantial reductions in reference services, internet access and children's programming like storytimes, classroom visits and homework assistance.


It is simply a continuation of funding authorized by South Pasadena voters in 1994 and 1999 (last time by an 87% margin). The library parcel tax, less than $40.00 per year for most South Pasadena homes, will expire in June 2005. Measure L will continue the existing library tax for six years and ensure the current availability of quality library programs and services.


The library tax has covered about 20 percent of the library's annual budget since 1994. So far, our community has not had to face the variety of cuts, reductions and long waiting lists for limited materials and services that other local libraries have endured. Funding our library at existing levels enables our community to keep the library's doors open seven days a week and to invest in new books and computers to keep South Pasadenans abreast of today's ever-changing world of information technology.


Reflecting on our library's proud history since 1895, a concerned South Pasadena citizen has said, "To maintain our public library is essential if we want to continue the quality of life we have been known for." Vote YES on Measure L to ensure our library's future.

Mike Ten
Mayor, City of South Pasadena

Dorothy M. Cohen
Former Mayor and Past President of Library Board of Trustees,
City of South Pasadena

Philip Swan
Chair, Community Facilities Task Force,
City of South Pasadena

Rose Barron
President, Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, Inc.
(for identification purposes only)

Robert Kwan
Chair, Committee to Keep Our Library Strong + for Measure L

(No arguments against Measure SouthPasadena---L were submitted)

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Created: March 29, 2005 12:43 PST
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