On November 8, 2022, Pasadena voters will have a choice. The City Council has placed Measure L, the Pasadena Public Library Services Continuation Measure on the ballot so voters can decide on the maintenance of a special revenue source for Pasadena Public Library programs and services. If voters approve Measure L, it is expected to continue to generate approximately $2.8 million annually for 15 years in dedicated, locally controlled dollars for Pasadena's libraries.
Questions and Answers
Q: Is this a new tax?
No. The City of Pasadena is asking residents whether they would like to continue the existing source of revenue by voting on Measure L. This is NOT a new tax.
Q: Why am I hearing about it now?
In June of 1993, voters chose to save the Pasadena Public Library’s existing services and operations when they approved a Special Library Tax. Fourteen years later, in June 2007, residents came together once again and voted 80.3% in support of the Measure to continue services provided by the Pasadena Public Library. After almost 15 years since its last renewal, the library revenue source will expire in February 2023, and can only be continued by a public vote.
Q: What is the purpose of the Special Library Tax?
Extending the current revenue source through Measure L will protect funding levels, which will:
- Maintain library book/materials collections
- Maintain youth reading/ homework/college preparation programs
- Keep libraries safe and welcoming
- Ensure computer and Wi-Fi access
- Maintain early childhood programs
- Allow the City to retain qualified librarians
- Prevent neighborhood library branch closures and reduction of hours to the maximum extent possible
Q: What would happen if the Special Library Tax is not renewed?
If the existing funding through the “Pasadena Public Library Services Continuation Measure” (Measure L) is not maintained, the library would lose approximately $2.8 million annually, or 20% of its budget, which may lead to the closure of neighborhood library branches, a reduction of books and collections, a reduction in library hours, the loss of qualified librarians, and cuts in other significant programs and services offered to our community.
Q: How much money will be generated?
The Pasadena Library Special Tax generates about $2.8 million locally controlled dollars annually for Pasadena’s libraries.
Q: Does Measure L: the Pasadena Public Library Services Continuation Measure maintain fiscal accountability provisions?
Yes. The City of Pasadena does not and will not use the revenues from the “Pasadena Public Library Services Continuation Measure” (Measure L) for anything but operating the library system serving the community. All revenue currently is and will continue to be deposited into the Pasadena Public Library Services Fund, which is subject to annual independent audits; and annual reports to the community would continue to be required.
Q: How long will Measure L: the Pasadena Public Library Services Continuation Measure funding last?
If approved, the “Pasadena Public Library Services Continuation Measure” (Measure L) will become effective April 1, 2023. It will be in effect for 15 years.
Q: What is required for Measure L: the Pasadena Public Library Services Continuation Measure to be successful?
This renewal measure would need to be supported by two-thirds (⅔) of the voters in order to pass.
Q: How much would the continuation measure cost property owners?
The City of Pasadena currently has a rate of approximately $41 annually for single-family residences/condominium units and specified rates for other parcel types. For most taxpayers, this tax can be deducted from Federal income taxes. Exemptions are provided for qualified seniors, disabled, and low income owners.
How Measure Will Appear on Your Ballot
ENSURES LOCAL CONTROL & OVERSIGHT
The City of Pasadena does not and will not use the revenues from Measure L for anything but operating the library system serving the community.
Close to nine-in-ten Pasadenans agree that libraries play a critical role in educating our community’s children and youth. Three-quarters state local students rely on the libraries to get educational resources not offered by other institutions.
REVENUE FROM MEASURE L WILL HELP
MEASURE P Would Continue to Fund City Services and Programs