CITY HALL — As Glendale Water & Power officials continue to push a proposed water rate increase, questions have been raised regarding the annual transfer of millions in utility revenues to support the city's General Fund, which pays for most public services.
A review of city records shows nearly $35 million in water service revenues have been transferred to the General Fund since 2000. Another $153 million has been transferred from the utility's electricity revenues in the same period.
City critics have for years seized upon the multimillion-dollar transfers — written into the city's Charter by Glendale voters more than 60 years ago — as causing artificially high utility rates.
In turn, city officials have long defended the transfers, which they say make up for Glendale's below-average property tax rates, frozen decades ago by Proposition 13.
"Other cities that did not have a power company had much higher tax rates," said Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian.