Saturday, March 7, 2020

Ballots are still being counted but as of right now, a substantial majority of Californians are rejecting the "Prop. 13" school bond. Have taxpayers finally had enough?

California voters appear to have rejected the first statewide school bond measure since 1994.

“Voters will approve this bond because voters historically approve school bonds,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom last year upon signing legislation to place the measure on the ballot.

As of this writing Proposition 13 on the March 3 ballot received just 44.6 percent of votes in favor, with 55.4 percent opposed.

The $15 billion school bond, pitched to voters as necessary to ensure school facilities are up to standard for safety reasons, was loaded with various provisions of legitimate concern to taxpayers.

One is that the measure, like other bonds, entails massive waste of public resources. The total cost of the $15 billion isn’t $15 billion, but $27 billion when interest costs of the bond are factored in.

But the other problem is that the measure sought to raise bond debt limits for school districts, allowing them to propose bigger bond measures in the future.

These local measures would come at the cost to local property owners; the raised debt limits would incentivize local districts to propose bigger bond measures.