Opponents of a proposed three-year, 4% utility tax that goes before city voters Tuesday have enlisted the support of the California Tax Reduction Movement, founded by the late Howard Jarvis, leader of the taxpayers' rebellion that led to the adoption of Proposition 13.
Joel Fox, president of the organization, said in a letter that the South Pasadena proposal amounted to an "unlimited" tax. "If the tax is to pay a debt, it should do no more," Fox said. "It should be capped once the job it is designed to do is finished."
Proponents of the tax, including five members of the City Council, say the proposal has an adequate "sunset" clause guaranteeing that the tax will be curtailed if it raises more money than is needed. Officials say the city needs the tax, which would cost the average household about $100 a year, to maintain adequate services, replace antiquated equipment and make up for an expected budget shortfall next year.