Puyallup School District No. 3 Capital Improvement Bond Proposition (February 2013)

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A Puyallup School District No. 3 Capital Improvement Bond proposition was defeated on the February 12, 2013 election ballot in Pierce County, which is in Washington.

This proposition would have authorized the Puyallup School district to increase its debt by $279.6 million by issuing general obligation bonds in that amount. These bonds would have matured within 21 years and the money would have been used to make improvements, expansions and perform remodeling and other capital improvements projects detailed below.[1]

A 60% super-majority was required for approval.[2]

Election results

Pierce County

Puyallup School District Bond Prop.
Defeatedd No11,77444.51%
Yes 14,679 55.49%

Election results from Pierce County Election Results Report.

Text of measure

Language on the ballot:

The Board of Directors of Puyallup School District No. 3 adopted Resolution No. 148 2011-12 concerning a proposition to finance capital improvements to its education facilities. If approved, this proposition would authorize the District to replace Firgrove and Sunrise elementary; construct a southwest-area elementary; expand/remodel Pope, Northwood, Spinning and Waller Road elementary and Rogers, Emerald Ridge and Puyallup high; construct fields at Edgemont and Ballou junior and Rogers and Puyallup high; acquire student computers, District-wide technology and other capital improvements; issue $279,600,000 of general obligation bonds maturing within 21 years; and levy annual excess property taxes for paying bonds, as provided in Resolution No. 148 2011-12. Should Proposition No. 1 be approved or rejected?[1][3]

Explanatory Statement

Below is a statement posted on the Pierce County website to explain this proposition in more detail:

Puyallup School District No. 3 seeks voter approval to sell $279,600,000 in bonds to finance: (a) the remodel and addition at Puyallup High School for classrooms, science labs, and a practice field; (b) the remodel and addition at Rogers High School for classroom, practice gym, stage storage, and field improvements; (c) the remodel and an addition to Emerald Ridge High School for classrooms and science labs; (d) the replacement of Firgrove and Sunrise elementary schools; (e) the expansion and remodel of Pope Elementary School; (f) the construction of a new elementary school in the southwest area of the District; (g) repairs and improvements at Northwood, Waller Road, and Spinning elementary schools; (h) repair projects to selected facilities district-wide; (i) Special Education renovations and improvements; (j) the relocation of the Edgemont Junior High School track and field; (k) modifications to bring all classrooms to equitable District technology standards; (l) the purchase of student computers and the implementation of remote computing for students; and (m) improvement of wireless network capacity to support student and staff devices.[1][3]


An argument in favor of this bond proposition posted on the Pierce County Website and written by Heath, who is on the Citizens Committee for Education:

Replace, Expand and Renovate Aging Schools

Puyallup School District is the ninth largest school district in Washington. Schools are overcrowded and growth is projected to continue over the next 12 years, especially at the elementary and high school levels. Over 4,000 students attend classes in portable classrooms.

Replace, Expand and Renovate Aging Schools
It has been nine years since the voters have approved a bond. This Bond Measure will provide essential replacements, expansions, improvements and renovations to keep aging schools maintained for student use.

Good Stewards of your tax dollars
The District has earned 10 consecutive years of perfect audits. In 2012, $23.2 million in property tax savings were realized by refinancing bonds at historically low interest rates. This measure, if approved would increase the tax for the average homeowner by approximately $15 per month. The 2004 bond projects were completed on time and on budget. Now is an opportune time to build because bond interest rates and construction costs are low, which saves tax dollars.[1][3]


An argument in opposition to this proposition posted on the Pierce County Website and written by Asmussen, part of the group "Puyallup Voters Against High Taxes:

The property tax rate for the Puyallup School District currently stands at 40.5% of your total property tax bill. This bond package will increase that rate to 44.5%. If the state legislature follows through with the State Supreme Court mandate to fully fund education by asking for a property tax increase, Puyallup residents will face unaffordable property taxes.

Much of the district’s bond request hinges upon a ‘projected’ student enrollment increase. It is already a given, that the district expects a 230 student decline in the upcoming 2013-2014 school year. That current and expected decline in students should be a harbinger of caution when it comes to large financial outlays for building new schools.

There is no immediate need for passage of this bond issue, while the McCleary mandate awaits legislative action. Interest rates will remain low. What we can’t afford right now, are higher property taxes.[1][3]

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Pierce County Washington February 12, 2013 online voters guide
  2. Laws governing local ballot measures in Washington
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.