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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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City of Burbank
Measure T - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


15,969 votes yes (81.1%)

3,721 votes no (18.9%)

100% of precincts reporting (48/48).

To maintain essential City services/infrastructure like police, fire, parks, libraries, streets and street lighting, shall the measure be adopted amending the City of Burbank Charter to continue the past practice of transferring not more than 7% of Burbank Water and Power's gross annual sales of electricity, paid by retail electric rate payers, providing approximately $12.5 million annually to the City's General Fund until ended by voters, with all money spent to benefit Burbank residents?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Amy Albano, City Attorney

If a majority of Burbank voters approve this measure, new Charter Section 610A (“§610A”) will continue the existing practice of including a fee in retail electric rates to fund the transfer of no more than 7% of Burbank Water and Power’s (BWP) gross annual sales of electricity to the City’s General Fund in order to pay for essential City services.

In 1958, Burbank voters amended the Charter to allow this transfer (§610). For decades, retail electric rate payers funded these transfers through a fee in rates with a percentage embedded in rates, a percentage as a line item to the rates or a combination.

In 2016, Charter §610 was challenged in court. The court determined the fee is a tax, subject to Burbank voter approval; and ordered the City to stop collecting the fee. City has appealed, which suspends the court’s order. Since the ruling, BWP continues to collect the fee and make transfers to the General Fund. Council is placing transferred amounts into a holding account, pending final resolution.

Although voters approved a Charter amendment to §610 in 2007, the court found voter-approval requirements for a tax were not met because §610 did not explicitly authorize funding the transfers from retail electric rate payers.

City Council placed this Measure on the ballot to add Charter §610A -Utility Department Transfers- to resolve the court’s ruling. §610A explicitly approves the existing practice of including a fee in retail electric rates to fund the transfers to the General Fund as follows:
–City Council is authorized to set retail electric rates annually that includethe cost of transfers.
–Burbank Water and Power is authorized to include the cost of transferswithin retail electric rates or as a separate line item fee.
–Amount of the fee will not exceed 7%.
–City Council may transfer up to 7% of BWP’s gross sales of electricityfrom retail electric rate payers to the City’s General Fund.
–Applies retroactively to the 2016/2017 fiscal year.
–Authority to impose the fee will remain in effect until changed by thevoters.

The estimated, annual revenue generated from the fee and transferred to the General Fund is approximately $12.5 million. Transferred amounts pay for fire, police, street repairs, street lighting, libraries, park/recreation programs/facilities.

A “no” vote means §610A is not approved and will not go into effect. Without passage of §610A and if City loses the court appeal, the fee to fund the transfers must stop, resulting in no money to fund future transfers to the General Fund. A “no” vote will likely result in a $12.5 million reduction in the General Fund, reflecting the annual revenue loss.

A “yes” vote adds §610A to the Charter continuing the long-standing funding mechanism for the approximately $12.5 million annual transfer to the General Fund. Passage of this Measure will not increase retail rate payers’ bills because current rates already include the cost of the transfers. A “yes” vote results in continued funding of the General Fund transfers, paying for essential City services.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Vote YES on Measure T to protect City services.

60 years ago, Burbank voters approved a limited annual transfer of 7% from Burbank Water and Power’s (BWP) annual sales of electricity to the City’s operating budget, the General Fund. As the voters intended, that transfer to the General Fund has paid for essential City services ranging from parks, senior services, police, fire, libraries, street repair, and lighting for community use of public facilities, like schools. Currently, that amount is approximately $12.5 million.

As recently as 2007, voters reaffirmed this transfer decision when we voted to clarify this same Charter provision. The Courts are requiring the City to ask voters for the third time to approve this transfer to the General Fund and City services. Once again, we are asking you to vote “Yes” to clarify this same Charter provision:

A “Yes” vote will not result in any new taxes;

It is not a new provision. This is for clarification in response to State Law;

Existing restrictions and caps on the City Council use of funds will remain in place;

If this measure is approved, the City will continue to transfer not more than 7% from BWP’s gross annual sales of electricity, paid for by retail rate payers, to the City’s General Fund in support of the community services for which Burbank is well known.

Failure to approve this measure will result in the loss of approximately $12.5 million revenue which will negatively affect community services across the board.

Please vote YES on Measure T to protect Burbank services.

Mayor, City of Burbank

Vice Mayor, City of Burbank

Council Member, City of Burbank

Council Member, City of Burbank

Council Member, City of Burbank

Arguments AGAINST


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