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California Proposition 53, Green-Hughes School Building Lease-Purchase Bond Law (1986)
Proposition 53 provided a bond issue of $800 million "to provide capital outlay for construction or improvement of public schools." $400 million had to go to new schools. No more than $360 million could go to the renovation or upgrade of existing school facilities. Up to $40 million could go to existing schools exclusively for renovation and upgrades of their air-conditioning and insulation, but this applied only to year-round schools.
The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:
Paying Off the Bonds. For these types of bonds, the state typically would make principal and interest payments over a period of up to 20 years from the state's General Fund. The average payment would be about $66 million each year if $400 million in bonds were sold in both 1986-87 and 1987-88 at an interest rate of 7 percent.
Borrowing Costs for Other Bonds. By increasing the amount which the state borrows, this measure may cause the state and local governments to pay more under other bond programs. These costs cannot be estimated.
State Revenues. The people who buy these bonds are not required to pay state income tax on the interest they earn. Therefore, if California taxpayers buy these bonds instead of making taxable investments, the state would collect less taxes. This loss of revenue cannot be estimated.
Path to the ballot
The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 53 on the ballot via Assembly Bill 4245 (Statutes of 1986, Chapter 423).