Worried by attacks on San Marino's Proposition P, supporters of the tax measure there expressed pleasure that voters easily gave the necessary two-thirds-majority vote. It passed with 3,372 votes, or 74.8%, in support and 1,136, or 25.2%, against.
The tax will raise up to $1.5 million a year for police, fire and paramedic services and will increase property owners' bills from $266 to $722 annually.
Bernie Le Sage, co-chairman of the San Marino Citizens for Public Safety Committee, said it is impressive "that any city could get 75% of their voters to agree on any issue, including a (tax)."
Despite current economic conditions, he said, "San Marino residents want a safe neighborhood . . . and recognized that it'll cost money."
But Proposition P opponent Ben Austin, founder of the San Marino Fiscally Conservative Assn., said the tax will hurt many older residents on fixed incomes. "Everybody thinks San Marino is rich . . . but there are widows on pensions, and older people living on Social Security, and this is an expensive place to live."
With no organized opposition to La Verne's Proposition H, voters easily approved the measure, which is similar to San Marino's. It will result in raising $1.2 million in local taxes a year. The vote was 5,234, or 57.2%, in favor and 3,918, or 42.8%, against.
The vote was only advisory, but City Council members have indicated they would follow the electorate's wishes. The measure could increase homeowners' taxes a maximum of $96 a year.
Mayor Pro Tem Tom Harvey interpreted the results this way: "It was tapping into what was a real concern--that we keep a very low crime rate."
Times staff writer Henry Chu contributed to this story.