Rincon Valley Union School District Bond Issue, Measure F (June 2014)

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

Measure F authorized the district to increase its debt by $35 million through issuing general obligation bonds in that amount in order to fund the renovation and modernization of school facilities. To repay these bonds, it was estimated that an additional property tax of $30 per $100,000 of assessed valuation would be required.[2]

A 55 percent supermajority vote was required for the approval of Measure F.

Election results

Measure F
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 6,816 66.8%
No3,39333.2%
Election results from County of Sonoma Registrar of Voters

Text of measure

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:[3]

To continue critical renovation, modernization and safety upgrades to District schools, add classrooms to avoid overcrowding, make needed upgrades to libraries, science and computer labs, improve access to classroom technology, improve energy efficiency to save money, and renovate, construct, acquire classrooms, sites, facilities and equipment, shall Rincon Valley Union School District issue $35,000,000 in bonds at legal interest rates with citizens' oversight, annual audits, no money for administrator salaries, and all funds benefiting high quality education for local students? [4]

Impartial analysis

The following impartial analysis of Measure F was prepared by the office of the county counsel:[3]

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 Rincon Valley Union School District Board of Trustees has called for an election and placed on the ballot the question of whether to issue bonds in the amount of $35 million for construction, upgrades, and improvements at District school sites.

Money raised by bond sales can be used for the purposes and projects stated in the Project List set forth in the Measure. Projects include adding, repairing and upgrading existing classrooms, libraries, science and computer labs, and other facilities; upgrading classroom computers and instructional technology; improving earthquake and fire safety systems; improving school energy efficiency; and upgrading campus security. 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 Project List is not a guarantee that the project will be funded or completed.

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 Project List. In addition, an Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee will be established within sixty days of the entry of the election results on the Board's minutes. The proceeds of the bonds will be maintained in a separate account in the County Treasury, 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 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. [4]

—Jeffrey M. Brax, Deputy County Counsel[3]

Fiscal analysis

The following tax statement was prepared by district officials for Measure F:[3]

To: The voters voting in the June 3, 2014 election on the question of the issuance of $35,000,000 General Obligation Bonds of the Rincon Valley Union School District.

You are hereby notified in accordance with Section 9401 of the Elections Code of the State of California of the following:

1. The best estimate from official sources of the tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund principal and interest payments during the first fiscal year after the first sale of bonds (Fiscal Year 2014-2015), based on assessed valuations available at the time of the election and taking into account estimated future growth, is the following:

$.03000 per $100 of assessed valuation, which equates to $30.00 per $100,000.

2. The best estimate from official sources of the tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund principal and interest payments during the first fiscal year after the last sale of bonds and an estimate of the year in which that rate will apply, based on assessed valuations available at the time of the election and taking into account estimated future growth, is as follows:

$.03000 per $100 of assessed valuation, which equates to $30.00 per $100,000.

First fiscal year after last sale of bonds: 2020-2021

3. The best estimate from official sources of the highest tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund principal and interest payments on the bonds and an estimate of the year in which that rate will apply, based on assessed valuations available at the time of the election and taking into account estimated future growth, is as follows:

$.03000 per $100 of assessed valuation, which equates to $30.00 per $100,000.

Year of highest tax rate: Tax is projected to be the same every year. The attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon 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 date of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on its need for construction funds and other factors. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on the bond market at the time of sale. Actual future assessed valuations 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. Accordingly, the actual tax rates and the years in which such rates are applicable may vary from those presently estimated as above stated.

REQUIRED STATEMENT REGARDING STATE MATCHING FUNDS MEASURE F

Approval of Measure F does not guarantee that the proposed project or projects in the Rincon Valley Union School District that are the subject of bonds under Measure F will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by Measure F. 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 §15122.5 [4]

—Casey D'Angelo, superintendent of Rincon Valley Union Elementary School District[3]

Support

Supporters

The following individuals signed the official arguments in favor of Measure F:[3]

  • Tom Ford, retired Sonoma County Treasurer-Tax Collector
  • Caroline Keller, Oakmont resident
  • Diane Moresi, retired Rincon Valley Superintendent
  • Keith Christopherson, Nor-Cal Construction Services
  • Tom Scott, General Manager of Oliver's Market

Arguments in favor

Official arguments

The following was submitted as the official argument in favor of Measure F:[3]

Rincon Valley schools have supported the educational needs of our community's children for over 60 years. Student test scores in the Rincon Valley School District are consistently among the highest in Sonoma County. Many of our schools have been designated California State Distinguished Schools. Our teachers, principals and staff have been recognized for their excellence in education. However, our schools and classrooms need significant facility upgrades if they are to meet the educational needs of students today and in the future. A Yes vote on Measure F will provide funds to better equip our schools for the high-quality instruction our students deserve.

Passage of Measure F will help the District pay for facilities and repairs that are needed to keep our schools safe and well-maintained, leaving more money for retaining quality teachers and academic programs.

Measure F will add classrooms to avoid overcrowding and accommodate increasing student enrollment. Measure F will also allow the district to replace old, portable classrooms with permanent facilities, reflecting the permanent nature of the District's enrollment growth over the last ten years. A Yes vote on Measure F will also allow the district to upgrade access to classroom technology so that our students are prepared to excel in the 21st Century.

Measure F includes annual audits and citizens' oversight to ensure the bond monies are spent as promised. An Independent Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee will monitor and review all bond expenditures. This committee of local residents will be tasked with ensuring all bond funds are spent as planned for the benefit of local students. No funds will be used for administrator or teacher salaries.

Quality educational facilities protect and enhance our property values and support our students. Good schools make great communities.

Please join us with your Yes vote on Measure F.

[4]

—Tom Ford, Caroline Keller, Diane Moresi, Keith Christopherson and Tom Scott[3]

Opposition

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

Fact sheet

The following fact sheet was prepared by Rincon Valley Union School District officials:[2]

On June 3, 2014 the voters in the Rincon Valley School District will be asked to vote on Measure F, a $35-million school bond. Measure F funds will be used to continue the renovation and modernization of all District schools, providing students and teachers with comparable classrooms and facilities. The District also needs to provide space for physical education, music performances, extra-curricular activities, and community events. Currently, the District has to rent space for music performances and athletic events. Measure F will provide a gym and auditorium that could be used by all our schools and by the community. Throughout the District, we will become more energy efficient, installing solar panels where this is possible.

Measure F funds will:

  • Provide new classrooms to avoid overcrowding
  • Improve school safety and security
  • Replace old windows, heating, plumbing, and ventilation systems to maximize energy efficiency and save money
  • Provide access to up-to-date classroom technology

Measure F will help the district pay for necessary repairs and maintenance that are needed to keep schools safe and well-maintained, leaving more money for retaining quality teachers and academic programs. Many of our schools are more than 40 years old and need essential repairs and upgrades. Measure F will install new windows, replace old and inefficient heating and cooling systems, and upgrade grounds to ensure all schools are safe and up-to-date.

Measure F will add classrooms to avoid overcrowding and accommodate increasing student enrollment. Measure F will also allow the district to replace old, portable classrooms with permanent classrooms. In addition, Measure F will allow the district to build a gym/auditorium that could be used by all of the schools.

Measure F will provide local funds that cannot be taken by the state to ensure our schools are up-to-date. Measure F will allow the district to upgrade access to classroom technology so that our students are prepared to excel in the 21st Century.

Measure F includes annual audits and citizens’ oversight to ensure the monies are spent as promised.' The School Board adopted a specific project list when calling this election. An Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee will monitor and review all bond expenditures. This committee of local residents will be tasked with ensuring that all bond funds are spent as planned for the benefit of local students.

None of the money will be used for school administrator or teacher salaries. All of the money generated by Measure F will pay for school construction projects. The average yearly cost to property owners in the Rincon Valley School District will be $30 per $100,000 of assessed valuation (not market value).[4]

Related measures

Approveda Rincon Valley School District parcel tax, Measure B (April 2006)

See also

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