Local Taxes:
Sacramento-Area School District Seeks $350 Million Bond

The San Juan Unified School District is likely to place a $350 million bond issue on the November ballot, according to informed sources. The district has been doing polling on the issue. If anyone doubts the importance of the wording of a ballot summary, consider the following:

The district first asked a question saying property taxes would be increased: "If an election were held today and you were asked to vote on a General Obligation Bond that would raise property taxes to fund the improvement of schools in the San Juan Unified School District, would you vote yes or no?"

The response was 48 percent yes; 42.5 percent no – a result below the 55 percent approval requirement.

The question was then changed with no mention of a property tax increase: "To improve the quality of education at every school, modernize aging classrooms, upgrade technology, open job training centers, improve student safety and become eligible for millions in additional State dollars, shall the San Juan Unified School District issue $350,000,000 in bonds at interest rates within the statutory limits and appoint a citizens' oversight committee, conduct annual independent audits, and spend funds only on school and classroom improvements, with NO money used for administrative salaries?"

The result was 66 percent yes; 31 percent no.

April 20, 2012
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