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Bellevue Union School District Bond Issue, Measure D (June 2014)

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A Bellevue Union School District Bond Issue, Measure D ballot question was on the June 3, 2014 election ballot for voters in Bellevue Union School District in Sonoma County, California, where it was approved.[1]

Measure D authorized the district to increase its debt by $12 million through issuing general obligation bonds in that amount in order to fund repair, construction, energy efficiency improvement, facility rehabilitation and other maintenance and improvement in the district.[2]

The approximate property tax rate necessary to repay these bonds was estimated at $18 per $100,000 of assessed valuation per year.[2]

A 55% supermajority vote was required for the approval of Measure D.

Election results

Measure D
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,314 62.2%
No79737.8%
Election results from County of Sonoma Registrar of Voters

Text of measure

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:[2]

To avoid overcrowding, continue to renovate and modernize its aging schools and classrooms, build new classrooms, rehabilitate buildings and grounds, improve energy efficiency, purchase solar panels and equipment, and repair, replace, acquire, construct, and rehabilitate school facilities, shall the Bellevue Union Elementary School District be authorized to issue $12,000,000 in bonds at legal interest rates with no funds for administrator salaries and an Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee to monitor all bond expenditures? [3]

Impartial analysis

The following impartial analysis of Measure D was prepared by the office of the county counsel:[2]

The California Constitution allows school districts to borrow money by issuing bonds to pay for construction, repair, replacement, and acquisition of school facilities if 55 percent of the voters who vote on the measure approve the sale of the bonds. The Bellevue Union Elementary School District Board has called for an election and placed on the ballot the question of whether to issue bonds in the amount of $12 million for construction, upgrades, and improvements at a number of District school sites.

Money raised by bond sales can be used for the purposes and projects stated in the Bond Project List set forth in the Measure. Projects include renovations and modernizations at Kawana Academy of Arts and Sciences; construction and acquisition of additional classrooms and other school facilities; and acquisition of leased solar facilities. Additional bond projects include but are not limited to constructing, upgrading, and repairing classrooms; improvements to site exteriors and grounds; kitchen improvements and construction; installation and upgrades to fire, security, climate control, electrical, plumbing, and other systems; and improvements to buildings and facilities. As required by state law, the measure prohibits using bond proceeds for teacher or administrator salaries or other operating expenses.

The inclusion of a project on the Bond Project List is not a guarantee that the project will be funded or completed. The District's Board will establish the priority and order in which projects will be completed, and may make changes to the Bond Project List, consistent with the projects specified in the Measure.

If the Measure is adopted, the District's Board will conduct annual, independent financial and performance audits to ensure that bond proceeds have been expended only on the projects on the Bond Project List. In addition, an Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee will be established within sixty days of the report of election results to the Board. The proceeds of the bonds will be maintained in a separate account, and the Board must receive an annual report on the status of projects undertaken and the amount of bond proceeds received and expended in that year. These requirements are set out as "Accountability Safeguards" in the Measure.

If the Measure is approved, the District expects to sell the bonds in series over time. The funds to repay the bonds would be raised by an increase in property taxes based upon the value of land and improvements in the District. The interest rate on the bonds would depend on the market rate at the time the bonds are sold, but cannot exceed the rate set by state law. The Tax Rate Statement prepared by the District Superintendent, which follows this analysis, estimates the property tax levies required to pay off the bonds. The estimated tax levies are a projection, and could go up or down, depending on a number of factors including the timing and amount of bond sales, and changes in assessed value of property in the District. [3]

—Jeffrey M. Brax, Deputy County Counsel[2]

Fiscal analysis

The following financial analysis and tax statement was prepared by Alicia Henderson, the superintendent of Bellevue Union Elementary School District:[2]

An election will be held in the Bellevue Union Elementary School District (the "District") on June 3, 2014, to authorize the sale of up to $12,000,000 in bonds of the District to finance school facilities as described in the proposition. If the bonds are approved, the District expects to sell the bonds in series over time. Principal and interest on the bonds will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. The following information is provided in compliance with Sections 9400-9404 of the Elections Code of the State of California.

1. The best estimate of the tax which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is 1.8 tenths cents per $100 ($18.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2014-15.

2. The best estimate of the tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the last series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is 1.8 tenths cents per $100 ($18.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2016-17.

3. The best estimate of the highest tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is 1.8 tenths cents per $100 ($18.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2018-19.

Voters should note that the estimated tax rates are based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the County's official tax rolls, not on the property's market value. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills to determine their property's assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions.

The foregoing information is based upon the District's projections and estimates only. The actual tax rates and the years in which they will apply may vary from those presently estimated, due to variations from these estimates in the timing of bond sales, the amount of bonds sold and market interest rates at the time of each sale, and actual assessed valuations over the term of repayment of the bonds. The dates of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on need for construction funds and other factors, including the legal limitations on bonds approved by a 55% vote. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on the bond market at the time of each sale. Actual future assessed valuation will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.

REQUIRED STATEMENT REGARDING STATE MATCHING FUNDS MEASURE D

Approval of Measure D does not guarantee that the proposed project or projects in the Bellevue Union School District that are the subject of bonds under Measure D will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by Measure D. The District's proposal for the project or projects assumes the receipt of matching state funds, which could be subject to appropriation by the Legislature or approval of a statewide bond measure. California Education Code §15122. [3]

—Alicia Henderson, superintendent of the Bellevue Union Elementary School District[2]

Support

Supporters

The following individuals signed the official arguments in favor of Measure D:[2]

  • Virginia L. Kuser, volunteer and senior citizen
  • Evelia Castillo, PTA president of Kawana
  • Danielle Bennett, volunteer
  • Dennis Carrera, retired teacher and Bellevue alumni
  • Pattie Dawson, Sonoma County Teacher of the Year

Arguments in favor

Official arguments

The following was submitted as the official argument in favor of Measure D:[2]

A Yes vote on Measure D will raise funds to address specific needs at the schools in the Bellevue Union School District. By continuing to invest in the renovation and expansion of our local schools, we are able to provide our students with an educational environment which supports achievement and success. A Yes vote on Measure D will provide funds to renovate and modernize Kawana Elementary School, acquire leased solar equipment to provide additional energy savings, add restrooms at Meadow View Elementary School and build new classrooms to accommodate increasing enrollment in the district.

Measure D provides for strict accountability. The School Board adopted a very specific resolution listing the projects to be completed with Measure D funds. These funds must be independently audited each year.

In addition, an Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee will monitor and review all bond expenditures. This Committee of local residents and taxpayers will make sure that all Measure D funds are spent as planned for the benefit of local students.

The Bellevue Union School District has done an outstanding job with past bond funds. The district has renovated Bellevue School, added classrooms at Taylor Mountain School and has installed solar panels which will save hundreds of thousands of dollars in utility costs. But there is more to be completed and there are no other funds available.

Quality schools protect and enhance our property values, and support our students. We must continue to invest in our schools. Good schools make for great communities.

We are proud of our local schools, and we ask you to please join us in voting Yes on Measure D. [3]

—Virginia L. Kuser, Evelia Castillo, Danielle Bennett, Dennis Carrera and Pattie Dawson[2]

Opposition

No official arguments in opposition to Measure D were submitted. If you have an argument you would like to see posted here, please email the Local Ballot Measure Project staff writer.

See also

External links

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