California Proposition 70, Bonds for Parks and Wildlife (June 1988)

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California Proposition 70, or the Wildlife, Coastal, and Park Land Conservation Act of 1988, was on the June 7, 1988 statewide primary ballot in California as an initiated state statute, where it was approved.

Proposition 70 authorized a $776 million general obligation bond to provide funds for the "acquisition, development, rehabilitation, protection, or restoration of park, wildlife, coastal, and natural lands in California including lands supporting unique or endangered plants or animals."

Election results

Proposition 70
Approveda Yes 3,531,629 65.15%

Text of measure


The ballot title was:

Wildlife, Coastal, and Park Land Conservation Bond Act. Initiative Statute.


The official summary said:

"This act authorizes a general obligation bond issue of seven hundred seventy-six million dollars ($776,000,000) to provide funds for acquisition, development, rehabilitation, protection, or restoration of park, wildlife, coastal, and natural lands in California including lands supporting unique or endangered plants or animals. Funds from bond sales would be administered primarily by or through California Department of Parks and Recreation, Wildlife Conservation Board, and State Coastal Conservancy with funds made available to other state and local agencies and nonprofit organizations. Contains provisions in event other conservation bond acts are enacted."

Fiscal impact

See also: Fiscal impact statement

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

"Assuming all the bonds are sold at 7.5 percent interest and state repays the principal and interest over 20 years, the overall cost of repayment would be about $1.4 billion. To the extent these bonds increase amount state borrows, state and local governments may pay more interest on other bond programs. State income taxes could be reduced to the extent California taxpayers invest in these tax-free bonds instead of other taxable investments."

They gave these additional considerations as to Proposition 70's fiscal impact:

  • 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 up to 20 years. Assuming all of the authorized bonds are sold at an interest rate of 7.5 percent, the cost would be about $1.4 billion to pay off both the principal ($776 million) and interest (about $600 million). The average payment for principal and interest would be about $65 million per year. If, however, a smaller amount of bonds is issued because the voters approve other bond measures which have about the same amounts of money for some of the same purposes, the cost of this measure would be less.
  • 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 interest under other bond programs. These costs cannot be estimated.
  • Impact on 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 other taxable investments, the state would collect less taxes. This loss of revenue cannot be estimated.
  • Operational Costs. The state and local governments which buy or improve property with bond funds would have to pay the additional costs to operate or manage those properties. These costs may be offset partly by revenues from those properties, such as entrance fees. These net additional costs cannot be estimated.
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