Tracy Unified School District Facilities Improvement District No. 3 Bond Issue, Measure B (June 2014)

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A Tracy Unified School District Facilities Improvement District No. 3 Bond Issue, Measure B ballot question was on the June 3, 2014 election ballot for voters in the third facilities improvement district of the Tracy Unified School District in San Joaquin County, California, where it was approved.[1]

Measure B authorized the district to increase its debt by $82 million by issuing general obligation bonds for the School Facilities Improvement District No. 3. These funds were designed to be used to improve, upgrade, maintain and renovate school facilities, security and technology. The tax rate required to repay this debt was estimated at $50 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.[2]

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

Election results

Measure B
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 4,570 65.03%
No2,45834.97%
Election results from San Joaquin Registrar of Voters

Text of measure

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:[2]

To continue the renovation and modernization of Tracy schools by upgrading older classrooms, libraries and computer labs, replacing leaking and deteriorating roofs, updating heating, plumbing and electrical systems and improving school safety and security, shall Tracy Unified School District be authorized to issue $82,000,000 in bonds for School Facilities Improvement District No. 3, at legal interest rates, with all expenditures monitored by an Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee and no funds spent on administrators?[3]

Impartial analysis

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

Approval of Measure B would allow School Facilities Improvement District No. 3 of the Tracy Joint Unified School District (the "District") to incur bonded indebtedness up to a maximum amount of eighty-two million dollars and no cents ($82,000,000). The issuance and sale of such general obligation bonds would be for repairing, renovating, modernizing and reconstructing school facilities within the area of the School Facilities Improvement District, inclusive of upgrading classrooms, repairing, replacing or upgrading aging roofs, electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, and improving student access to computers. Bond proceeds could also be used to qualify for State of California matching funds.

No funds derived from bond sales could be used for District administrators' salaries or for any purpose or project other than those expressly stated in the measure.

To assure that funds derived from bond sales authorized by Measure B are spent only for the purposes expressly stated in Measure B, and for no other purposes, Measure B would require the District to: (1) appoint an independent citizens' oversight committee; and (2) conduct annual independent performance and financial audits.

If Measure B is approved, and bonds are authorized and sold, the principle thereof and interest thereon shall be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. If Measure B is approved, the tax rate necessary for payment of principal and interest on any bonds sold will be largely dictated by the timing of the bond sales, the amount sold at a given sale, market interest rates at the time of each sale (although in no event greater than the maximum bond net interest rate allowed by law), as well as actual assessed valuation of taxable property in the District over the term of repayment. A state of the tax rate data required by Elections Code Section 9401 will be provided to all registered voters with the sample ballot for the bond election. Approval of Measure B does not guarantee that the projects proposed by the District to be funded from the proceeds of bonds authorized and sold will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by the bond sales authorized by Measure B. The District's proposal for such projects assumes the receipt of matching State of California funds that could be subject to appropriation by the State Legislature or to approval by statewide bond measure.

Passage of Measure B requires approval by fifty-five percent (55%) of voters voting thereon.[3]

—San Bernardino County Counsel[2]

Tax statement

The following tax statement for Measure B was prepared by the school district officials:[2]

An election will be held within the boundaries of School Facilities Improvement District No. 3 of the Tracy Unified School District(the "School Facilities Improvement District")m on June 3, 2014 to authorize the sale of u[ to $82,000,000 in bonds of the School Facilities Improvement District to finance facilities as described in the proposition. If the bonds are approved, the Tracy Unified School District (the "School District") expects to sell the bonds in multiple series. principal and interest on the bonds will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property located only within the School Facilities Improvement District. The following information is provided in compliance with Sections 9400-9404 of the California Elections Code.

1. 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 first series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is 5.0 cents per $100 ($50 per $100,000) of assessed value 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 5.0 cents per $100 ($50 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2018-19

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 5.0 cents per $100 ($50 per $100,000) assessed valuation in fiscal year 2018-19.

Voters should note that the estimated tax rate is based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the County of San Joaquin'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.

Attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon the School District's projections and estimates only, which are not binding upon the School District. 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 among of bonds sold and market interest rates at the time of each sale, and actual assessed valuations over the term of the payment of the bonds. The dates of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the School District based on 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 each sale. Actual future assessed valuation will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the School Facilities Improvement District as determined by the County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.[3]

—Tracy Unified School District Superintendent[2]

Support

Supporters

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

  • Bill Swenson, former teacher, administrator, and board member of the Tracy Unified School District
  • Donna M. Boyd, longtime teacher at Tracy Unified School District
  • Steve Abercrombie, Tracy Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 2014
  • J.C. Kimball, retired physician
  • Ted Guzman, Tracy United Way Community Council and Tracy Unified School District/School Board Member

Arguments in favor

Official arguments

The following official arguments were submitted in favor of Measure B:[2]

A Yes vote on Measure B will provide the Tracy School District with the reliable source of local funds to continue the renovation and modernization of the older schools in Tracy. Measure B provides funds to renovate and upgrade classrooms, libraries and computer labs. Funds will replace aging roofs, upgrade electrical systems, replace old heating, cooling and ventilation systems with energy-efficient systems and increase the ability of students and teachers to use classroom computers and technology.

There are no other funds available to complete these projects. All of the funds will be monitored by a Citizens' Oversight Committee. The committee must include a representative of a taxpayers' organization, a senior citizen, a local business person and an active parent. No employee, vendor, contractor or consultant of the District may serve on the committee.

In addition, it is required that the district conduct annual, independent performance audits to ensure that bond proceeds are only spent on specific local school facility projects. By law, no funds can be spent on administrator or teacher salaries.

Investing in our schools is the best way to protect and preserve our property values, spur economic development and create local jobs. We owe this and future generations of Tracy students the best schools we can provide.

The District has done an outstanding job managing past school bonds. Tracy High School and many other schools have been transformed and the District has received an additional $54.5 million in matching funds maximizing our local dollars.

We must provide our schools with a reliable, local source of funds to renovate and modernize local Tracy schools. Quality school buildings and classrooms protect and enhance our property values and support our students. Good schools define great communities.

Please Vote Yes on Measure B. [3]

—Bill Swenson, Donna M. Boyd, Steve Abercrombie, J.C. Kimball and Ted Guzman[2]

Opposition

Arguments against

The following argument in opposition to Measure B was submitted by a district homeowner and taxpayer:[4]

As a property owner in Tracy, I already paying high Mello Roos taxes for years. I helped pay for Kimball High School and a number of other projects. They keep adding more taxes like measure B! I do not want my taxes raised more by people who get to vote but do not have to pay them. Hence the non-homeowner or homeowner not paying Mello Roos voting yes on B. This Measure does not affect them, but it does affect me and all other home owners currently already paying high taxes for years. I say vote No on Measure B unless it is modified to include only Home owners who are not currently already paying High Mello Roos taxes to the city of Tracy![3]

—District homeowner opposed to Measure B[4]

See also

External links

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References

  1. San Joaquin Registrar of Voters, "Election Results," accessed June 3, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 League of Women Voters of California Education Fund, San Joaquin County, June 3, 2014 election information, accessed May 15, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ballotpedia staff writer Josh Altic, "Email correspondence with a Tracy Unified School District homeowner," June 3, 2014