Covina utility tax to be considered, again

A petition initiated by the husband of City Hall spokeswoman, Bobbi Kemp, could bring back Covina’s $5.5 million utility tax on a city ballot. The petition comes after the tax was defeated by voters in the March election. Here’s what to expect at Tuesday’s council meeting, Dan Abendschein reports:

COVINA – The city council is scheduled to vote at Tuesday night’s meeting on putting a measure on renewing Covina’s $5.5 million utility tax on a city ballot.

A measure to renew the city utility tax was defeated in the March of 2007 election, leading the city to pass a budget with millions of dollars in cuts.

The new measure has come under consideration for the ballot after receiving 1,237 signatures from registered Covina voters.

The measure qualifies for the ballot under a passage in the state constitution which allows for a special election to be called in a fiscal emergency if the city receives the signatures of 5 percent of city registered voters who voted in the last gubernatorial election.

Ballot measures normally require the signatures of 10 percent of the city’s registered voters, but the utility tax measure did not receive that many signatures, according to the Covina city clerk’s office.

The group behind the measure initially submitted 2,347 but after checking the signatures only 1,237 were shown to be valid, registered voters living in the city of Covina, according to the city.

The special election would either be consolidated with the June county-wide election, or would be held on its own at a date set by the council, in which case it would cost the city $66,000