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California Proposition 85, Bonds for Libraries (1988)

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California Proposition 85 was on the November 8, 1988 statewide ballot in California as a legislatively-referred bond act, where it was approved.

Proposition 85 authorized a bond issue of $75 million to provide funds for a library construction and renovation program.

24 local library projects were ultimately funded through Proposition 85. In 2000, voters approved a similar measure, Proposition 14, which authorized $350 million in bonds for local library projects.[1]

Election results

Proposition 85
Approveda Yes 4,813,324 52.69%

Text of measure


The ballot title was:

Library Construction And Renovation Bond Act Of 1988.


The official summary said:

"This act provides for a bond issue of seventy-five million dollars ($75,000,000) to provide funds for a library construction and renovation program."

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statement

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

  • Direct Costs of Paying Off the Bonds. For these types of bonds, the state typically would make principal and interest payments from the state's General Fund over a period of about 20 years. If all of the authorized bonds were sold at an interest rate of 7.5 percent, the cost would be about $134 million to pay off the principal ($75 million) and interest (about $59 million). The average payment for principal and interest would be about $6 million per year.
  • 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.
  • Costs to Administer the Program. The State Librarian may use an amount not to exceed 1 percent of the bond funds to pay the costs of administering the program. The State Librarian would incur about $750,000 of such costs over the first six years of the program to administer the grants.
  • Costs to Operate New Library Facilities. Local agencies that build new libraries or expand their existing libraries would incur additional operating costs. This added cost cannot be estimated.

Path to the ballot

The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 85 on the ballot via Senate Bill 181 (Statutes of 1988, Ch. 49).

Votes in legislature to refer to ballot
Chamber Ayes Noes
Assembly 59 10
Senate 33 0

External links

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