Prop. 457: Voters say 'No' to Glendale measure - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Prop. 457: Voters say 'No' to Glendale measure

© CBS 5 © CBS 5
GLENDALE, AZ (CBS5) -

Voters in Glendale said "no" to a measure that would have stopped a temporary sales tax increase meant to balance the city's budget. [Read Proposition 457 in full]

Now that the initiative has failed, the increase will remain in place.

Faced with a $25 million budget deficit in June, the Glendale City Council approved raising the city's sales tax from 2.2 percent to 2.9 percent for a period of five years.

"On a purchase of $50, you're looking at a 35-cent difference," said Glendale city spokeswoman Jennifer Stein.

The increase went into effect Aug. 1, 2012, and will expire on Aug. 1, 2017.

If Prop. 457 would have been approved, the extra sales tax would have ended and the city would have had to find other ways to shore up its budget.

"To date, the first three festivals of the year have been 26 percent of my income," said Linda Moran-Whittley, who owns Papa Ed's Ice Cream in downtown Glendale.

She told CBS 5 News businesses like hers depend on the festivals to attract new customers.

"It's needed for me to survive and continue to grow," Moran-Whittley said.

The city said if Prop. 457 would have passed, it would be forced to eliminate 250 jobs, including police officers and firefighters.

"This is going to have a tremendous impact on our ability to serve the community," explained interim Glendale police Chief Debbie Black. "It's going to eliminate all of our crime prevention programs."

The city wanted residents to vote no on Prop. 457 and keep the temporary sales tax in place.

City officials point out this is the first time in nearly 20 years that Glendale has raised its sales tax, despite the fact its population has grown more than 41 percent during that time, along with the need for more city services.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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