Following the proposal of Measure AL, a 0.75% local sales tax raise ordinance, citizens in Alhambra voted on implementing it on the March 3 presidential primary election. The measure is intended to improve the city’s local services, safety, and keep the city well-maintained.
The measure required at least one vote over 50% for it to be approved. Vote totals from the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s office showed 4,980 “yes” votes (63.5%) and 2,863 “no” votes (36.5%) for the measure. As a result, the measure will raise the city’s sales tax rate from 9.5% to the maximum allowed under state law, 10.25%.
“The state has taken millions of local tax dollars from Alhambra coffers,” the city council said. “[This leaves] the city in the unenviable position of needing to close a budget deficit for the past several years, deferring critical public safety and community infrastructure needs to make ends meet.”
City officials estimate that Measure AL will raise up to $8.1 million for the city’s coffers annually. When enacted, Measure AL will provide funding to prevent property crimes, maintain police, fire, and 911 emergency response, keep public areas safe and clean, repair infrastructure, and maintain local control of local funds. Senior Emely Alas, who voted at the school’s polling center, said that she supports Measure AL because it will benefit the citizens in different areas.
“For example, [there are] messed up roads, so [the measure] will improve our streets,” Alas said. “I think other people would oppose [the tax] because they have to pay higher taxes now.”
Measure AL was formulated after months of public input, engaging thousands of Alhambra households and obtaining over 600 community survey responses on local service priorities. To ensure that money will be spent as promised, Measure AL includes fiscal accountability provisions, such as public disclosure of all spending and annual independent financial audits.
“Last year, there were nearly 600 burglaries and car thefts in Alhambra,” the city council said. “Despite recruitment efforts, the city does not have the funds to fill the currently 10 vacant police officer positions—impacting neighborhoods, school and business patrols, response times, and overall city safety.”
The measure will not be official until it is certified by the Registrar Recorder on March 27 and sent to the Board of Supervisors for action on March 31.