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Video About Monrovia Measure K Tax Measure

The City has created a video, here ( explaining why Monrovians should vote for Measure K, which would raise Monrovia's sales tax from the current rate of 9.5 percent to the maximum legal rate of 10.25 percent.

In brief, the logic is this:

The maximum allowable sales tax under California law is 10.25 percent, and city officials are convinced that there will be more measures on the county ballot to raise sales tax.

However, if Monrovia raises its tax first, and raises it to the maximum permitted level, any new sales taxes approved by the county won't apply to Monrovia. We won't have to pay it because we're already paying the maximum, and we're paying it to the city, not the county, so we get to keep 100 percent.


While I don't think increasing taxes is generally a good thing for reasons I won't go into unless someone begs me, in this case I'm going to vote for this tax for the reasons the city has given.

However, for your own consideration I want to point out a few possible negatives that occur to me.

1. If there are no more county sales tax measures on the ballot then Monrovia would be left with a higher sales tax than cities that have not increased their sales tax.

That seems correct, but how likely is it? I'm inclined to agree that there will be more sales tax increases on the county ballot.

2. What is to prevent the state from raising the 10.25 percent sales tax limit?

Probably nothing, but if the state raises the sales tax limit I suppose Monrovia is still better off because this measure would still keep more Monrovia money in Monrovia.

3. Suppose we pass this measure but then benefit from some new county sales tax. Might the cities that end up paying the new tax file lawsuits claiming they are being unfairly burdened by having to raise money that is being distributed even to cities - such as Monrovia - that are not paying the tax?

I'm no legal expert but that seems possible, and I've no idea how the courts might rule.

- Brad Haugaard


  1. What will the city do with the money is not discussed.

    Governments about everywhere have enough money. It is how they piss it away on silly fads ("road diets" come to mind) that makes me wonder why any tax increase is justified.

    If the city council were interested in committing the incremental revenue to debt reduction, for example, and actually followed through on it (unlike the solons in Sacto and the gas tax increases), I would be more inclined to sustain a higher tax.

    Note that sales taxes are "regressive", that they hit those least able to pay the hardest.

    I have little doubt that the Democrat majorities anywhere will not increase the 10.25% limit. Legislation set the limit, and guess who makes legislation?

    On another aspect of taxation, I notice on my LA County property tax bill that LAC is collecting about $1,000 from me for Monrovia's voted indebtedness. Does this money go against the debt carried by the City, which is using LAC as their collection agency to avoid backlash if it billed directly? Or is there a double-dip here?

    Reading fine print can be so interesting.

    Unless the City solons present a plan other than "keeping the money for us", I have trouble supporting this New Bright Idea. Since they can't say "no" to various harebrained fads, and awarded the garbage collection contract to Athens in exchange for a kickback to the city (literally, a tax on citizens collected through your Athens bill) why should they get more money?

  2. The sales pitch for this new tax is totally disingenuous. If the mayor and city council really wanted to tax us more to "save the county from getting the money" and not just to add more tax to their coffers then the 1% additional tax could go right back to the tax payers in the form of offsetting our city service charges (trash, water), or go towards the yearly money that Monrovia tax payers are paying to pay off bond measures that we are saddled with. But no, the city is just adding a 1% tax goes to the general fund. They could have done the right thing and given the money right back to the citizens pocket book. This sale pitch is a scam

  3. I am voting No on the tax increase. Under California law, the state of California collects a minimum 7.25% sales tax. California law requires the state to send back 1.25% of that amount collected to the county and local governments. The city of Monrovia already receives 1% of the revenue collected from the minimum sales tax. Local counties and municipalities can levy additional sales taxes on top of that minimum 7.25% amount, generally not to exceed 2 percent for a County or City. A city or county cannot levy more than a 2 percent sales tax increase above the 7.25% minimum according to California Rev & Tax Code § 7251.1. They must seek approval from the state to do so.

    Currently, the County of Los Angeles is already above that maximum limit for a sales tax increase. The County of Los Angeles cannot place onto the ballot another sales tax increase, without the approval of the State of California to increase the limit any higher. The campaign in favor of increasing the Monrovia Sales Tax is using fear that the County could seek to place another sales tax increase on the ballot in the future, which is true only with the approval of the state.

    Additionally, there are no specifics of what will be done with the money, which is being sent into the City's general fund and a large share will probably go to the unfunded pension liabilities and not to city infrastructure or to the direct benefit of the constituents. At least with a County sales tax increase it is going towards a specific purpose, like measure R for transportation which is regionally coordinated by the county, in theory.