Burbank City Council Rejects Possibility of Parcel Tax on Future Ballot

4
2029

On Tuesday, September 28th at 6 P.M., Burbank City Council held a regularly scheduled meeting.

Burbank Chamber
BWP LIRAP

At the beginning of the meeting, Mayor Bob Frutos announced that the state’s emergency eviction moratorium is set to expire today, September 30th.

“Those who are at risk of eviction can apply to the state rental assistance program at housingiskey.com,” said the Mayor.

Following the announcements, the Council went over the consent calendar, which included an appropriation of $100,000 to traffic safety. The consent calendar is a grouping of agenda items that are simultaneously voted on and approved at once. The consent calendar passed 5-0.

Perhaps the most contentious part of the meeting was the discussion of the possible implementation of a parcel tax. A parcel tax is a tax placed on properties and it essentially taxes the use of city services by said property owners. Although similar to a property tax, a parcel tax does not tax based on property or land value, but rather on the use of the said property.

Burbank Chamber
Milano

Prior to the beginning of the discussion on the agenda item, Councilman Nick Schultz voluntarily recused himself from the discussion due to concerns that his wife’s employment at NBC-Universal would create a conflict of interest if he was to deliberate on the matter.

Councilman Konstantine Anthony requested that a parcel tax be looked into by the Council, with his goal being that the Council would approve a proposal investigating the placement of a parcel tax on the ballot for the next city election.

In the past, Burbank voters narrowly rejected the parcel tax proposals of Measures I and QS in the elections that occurred in November 2018 and March 2020 respectively. Due its consideration as a “special tax” by the state, a parcel tax requires 66% of the vote to be implemented.

Due to both Measure I and QS narrowly missing passage by a few thousand votes, Councilman Anthony wanted to again give voters the possibility to implement such a tax. However, instead of implementing a flat parcel tax that would tax single-family homeowners at the same rate as Disney Studios, he wanted to craft a more progressive version of the tax.

“Single-family homeowners, renters, and small businesses should all be exempt from this tax,” said Anthony. “The tax should really be affecting large-scale commercial developers and corporations, who pay very little in city property taxes.”

Despite Councilman Anthony’s proposal, the council was rather hostile towards the possibility of implementing this tax, with Councilwoman Sharon Springer outright calling his proposal “misleading.” Her claim was based on the assumption that Councilman Anthony was primarily trying to target Amazon’s new Burbank property for taxation due to his involvement in the local Tax Amazon campaign.

However, Councilman Anthony quickly clarified: “this tax would affect every large corporation in Burbank, including Walmart and Target in the Empire Center.”

The council ended up rejecting Councilman Anthony’s proposal 3-1-1, with Councilmembers Springer, Frutos, and Talamantes voting against the proposal and Councilman Schultz recusing himself.

A video recording of the meeting can be found here. Additionally, the meeting’s agenda can be found here.

4 COMMENTS

  1. (read to the end to learn about the $1.8 million you and I will be paying so that golfers can play a round for a cheap $57 or less)

    First of all, no agenda item should be discussed at City Council, hogging up precious time for staff and the electeds until and after a cheap email survey of the community has been conducted to see if Burbankers would even entertain such an idea.

    Too many agenda items are bantered about wasting valuable time and staff resources.

    No agenda matter should arrive to city council until a quick, simple, cheap email survey is sent out to all Burbank voters asking if they would agree to such a tax, matter, etc.

    We should have fewer city council meetings. They are filled with endless topics, personal stories, thank yous and all kinds of stuff that really do not help manage our city. Why do you think the City’s budget is so sky-high? This is the culture. A free-for-all to discuss anything. Why?

    Mr. Anthony lacks a financial or accounting background. Being elected to a city council seat is not evidence of wisdom in the area of finance.

    The City of Burbank’s fiscal year appropriations are $670,103,816. We need experts advising us on the correct way to manage our local business interests.

    I rarely attack individual people like this however Mr. Anthony does not hesitate to attack others and does so often.

    This statement is not only untrue, it is a reckless misrepresentation:

    “The tax should really be effecting large-scale commercial developers and corporations, who pay very little in city property taxes.”

    The California State Constitutional provision for property tax on both commercial and residential property is 1%. On top of that both companies and individuals pay tax-payer voted additional assessments for a number of other items (see your tax bill).

    Those are:
    (by percentage)

    ● Metro Water District 0.0035
    ● Community Colleges: 0.027175
    ● Unified Schools: 0.052701

    (direct assessments and the $ varies)
    ● Flood Control
    ● LACO Vector Control
    ● Health License Fees
    ● MWD Standby #5
    ● Trauma Emergency Services
    ● RPOSD Measure A
    ● Safe Clean Water

    Everyone has their hands in the pocket of both residential and commercial property owners.
    Any tax increase of any kind on property results in higher prices at the cash register, higher rents and then of course, larger government. Companies will always pass long new taxes to customers and tenants.

    If you hate higher prices and don’t want big government, then always vote against tax increases of any kind. The sales pitches never work out the way they sell it.
    Measure H is a perfect example of how millions are stolen from us in taxes and they are just used to line the pockets of consultants.

    We have a very small community, our government is already very expensive compared to other cities.

    If you wonder why the City of Burbank is completely addicted to tax increases, consider the many pet projects that you and I don’t benefit from.

    While my friend paid $11,000 to join a golf course and $600 per month to remain a member, a non Burbank resident can play golf at DeBell for $57 with no membership fees. See here: https://www.debellgolf.com/golf-course/rates

    And the City is spending $1.8 million to fix up the sprinklers: https://burbank.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=6&event_id=7493&meta_id=388103

    The City maintains 42 parks and facilities and wants to make more.

    Our well-meaning tax-and-spend librarian wants a brand new $106.6 million new central library with $21.9 million for “soft costs” (i.e. non construction related consulting and legal fees). See here: https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/65497742/vision-for-the-new-burbank-central-library-march-2021

    Think about the last time you went to the public library. When was that? Have you ever played a round of golf at DeBell?

    The BurbankBus system runs empty all the time yet costs the City $9 million per year.
    When was the last time you rode that bus?

    The issue is not money, it is bad management.

    I would invite you to examine these records like I do and speak up.

    This parcel tax was defeated, but look for a new tax increase on the lodging tax that will be proposed.

  2. This was another example of Mr. Anthony’s lack of financial knowledge and his social agenda. We don’t need this in Burbank.

    Im grateful for the Mayor, Vice Mayor & Councilmember Springer voting against the proposal and speaking up.

    I appreciate you publishing this news.

    • Why did the City council entertain this at a meeting at all? It consumes valuable time and then city workers have to sit and be paid to listen. Many of them sit while nonsense is discussed, costing us all huge money and these nonsense proposals are being made all year.

      The City should just refuse to discuss a proposed topic relating to tax increases period.

      Taxes are at an all-time high.

      Government debt is at record levels.

      US Federal Debt is 125.91% of GDP
      States’ Debt is 140.72% of GDP

      Source: https://www.usdebtclock.org/

      The City needs to take swift action to stop overspending.

      Cheap golf
      Empty local BurbankBus system
      Free food for all
      Building shelters for out-of-town homeless (check the arrest logs you will see they are from out of town for sure)
      Giving money to nonprofits that you and I may not support while nonprofits generated $1.6 billion in a year in Burbank alone (the nonprofits can hold fundraisers not use tax dollars)
      42 parks and facilities (we have 107,000 residents…most of the parks are empty, please drive to them to confirm)
      Endless taxpayer funded projects

  3. Mr. Anthony’s answer to everything is always a tax increase. Has he ever said no to a tax increase? If his name is involved, you can bet there is a tax increase in the works. If a tax is placed on a business, that business must pass it on to the consumer. That simple. How about suggesting to folks – get a job. Having a job helps everyone involved as when you have money, you can spend money, thus generating taxes.

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