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Buena Park Elementary School District Bond Issue, Measure B (June 2014)

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A Buena Park Elementary School District Bond Issue, Measure B ballot question was on the June 3, 2014 election ballot for voters in Buena Park Elementary School District in Orange County, California, where it was approved.

Measure B authorized the district to increase its debt by $71 million through issuing general obligation bonds in that amount in order to fund the construction, renovation, maintenance, improvement and replacement of school facilities, equipment and technology. The additional property tax required to repay these bonds was estimated to be $30 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.[1]

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

Election results

Measure B
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 2,229 66.9%
No1,10433.1%
Election results from Orange County Elections Office

Text of measure

Impartial analysis

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

Approval of the measure would authorize the Board of Trustees (“Board”) of the Buena Park School District (“District”), to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $71,000,000. The California Constitution provides that school districts may issue general obligation bonds for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities or the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities, with the approval of 55% of the voters of the district, voting at an election for that purpose.

Funds received from the sale of the bonds shall be used only for the specific purposes set forth in the measure, including acquiring, upgrading equipment, sites, grounds and facilities to provide access for people with disabilities; acquiring, replacing or upgrading playground surfaces; removing and disposing of hazardous materials and substances; reconfiguring, renovating, repairing and resurfacing paved and other hard surfaces, playfields and landscaping; acquiring, replacing and upgrading playground equipment and fixtures; constructing, acquiring, upgrading and renovating classrooms, classroom buildings, restrooms, labs, and school support facilities; acquiring and installing technology equipment, fixtures and infrastructure, including computers, software, cameras and network equipment; acquiring, replacing, upgrading and constructing renewable energy and energy saving systems; and renovating, replacing, acquiring, upgrading lighting, electrical, heating, refrigeration, cooling, ventilation, water, gas, irrigation and drainage systems.

The measure provides that a citizens’ oversight committee will be established to ensure that bond proceeds are properly expended. In addition, annual performance and financial audits will be conducted. The measure further provides that bond proceeds will not be used for teacher or administrator salaries or other school operating expenses.

Approval of this measure will also authorize the District to levy an ad valorem tax on the assessed value of real property within the District by an amount needed to pay the principal and interest on these bonds in each year that the bonds are outstanding. The Tax Rate Statement for the measure in this sample ballot pamphlet reflects the District’s best estimates, based upon currently available data and projections, of the property tax rates required to service the bonds.

If 55% of the voters of the school district voting on the measure vote yes, the District will be authorized to issue bonds in the amount not to exceed $71,000,000. A no vote on this measure will disapprove the issuance of the bonds and the levy of the taxes for such bonded indebtedness.

The measure was placed on the ballot by the Board of Trustees of the District.

Approval of Measure B does not guarantee that the proposed project or projects in the school district that are the subject of bonds under Measure B will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by Measure B. The school district’s proposal for the project or projects may assume the receipt of matching state funds, which could be subject to appropriation by the Legislature or approval of a statewide bond measure.[3]

—Orange County Counsel[1]

Tax statement

The following tax statement was prepared by the superintendent of the Buena Park Elementary School District:[4]

An election will be held in the Buena Park School District (the “District”) on June 3, 2014, to authorize the sale of up to $71,000,000 in bonds of the District to finance school facilities as described in the proposition. If the bonds are approved, the District expects to issue the Bonds in multiple series over time. Principal and interest on the bonds will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. The following information is provided in compliance with Sections 9400 through 9404 of the California Elections Code.

1. The best estimate of the tax 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 $0.03 per $100 ($30.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation 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 $0.03 per $100 ($30.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2024-25.

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 $0.03 per $100 ($30.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation, which is projected to be the same in every fiscal year that the bonds remain outstanding.

Voters should note that estimated tax rates are based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the County’s official tax rolls, not on the property’s market value, which could be more or less than the assessed value. In addition, taxpayers eligible for a property tax exemption, such as the homeowner’s exemption, will be taxed at a lower effective tax rate than described above. Certain taxpayers may also be eligible to postpone payment of taxes. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills and tax advisors 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 District’s projections and estimates only, which are not binding upon the 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 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 dates of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the 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 District as determined by the County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.[3]

—Superintendent of Schools for the Buena Park School District[4]

Full text

The full text of the ordinance that was enacted when Measure B was approved is available here.

Support

Upgrade Buena Park Schools campaign logo

Supporters

An official "Yes on Measure B" campaign was formed and called Upgrade Buena Park Schools. According to the Upgrade Buena Park School website, the following organizations, groups and officials endorsed Measure B:[5]

  • The Buena Park City Council
  • Bill Habermehl, Orange County Superintendent Emeritus
  • Robin Sells, Buena Park Police Captain (Retired)
  • The Buena Park Teachers Association
  • California Schools Employees Association Chapter 569

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

  • Mary Fuhrman, board member for the Buena Park Library District & former board member of the Buena Park School District
  • Debbie Vanderwest, president of the Buena Park Soroptimist & a La Palma resident
  • Jeff Bone, local business owner
  • Gilbert Kim, second grade teacher at Beatty Elementary School & parent of Emery Elementary School student
  • Mary Ellen Hicks, retired 25-year teacher at Buena Park School District

Arguments in favor

Official arguments

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

Whether or not you have school-age children, protecting students, the quality of local schools, the quality of life in our community and the value of your home are wise investments.

Buena Park School District students receive an excellent education. We have received National Blue Ribbon Schools recognitions, and multiple California Distinguished Schools and Title I High Achieving Schools awards.

However, our schools are now over 50 years old. School safety improvements, essential repairs and technology upgrades are needed so our schools can serve our community for decades to come.

Our kids must be skilled in the use of 21st-century technologies and have a solid background in science, math and technology to succeed in college and careers–Measure B will make this possible.

All money raised by Measure B will stay local to support our students by improving school facilities, technology and classroom instruction.

Yes on B to:

  • Repair or replace old roofs, leaky plumbing and outdated electrical systems that exist at many of our schools
  • Improve student and school safety by upgrading emergency communication systems, fire alarms and sprinkler systems to modern standards
  • Improve access for students with disabilities
  • Upgrade classrooms and computer systems to keep pace with technology
  • Keep school facilities clean and well maintained

Measure B qualifies the District for millions of dollars in state matching money that will otherwise go to other school districts.

Measure B requires fiscal accountability:

  • No money will be used for district administration
  • All money raised by Measure B will stay local to support our students
  • Funds cannot be taken by the State or use for other purposes
  • Independent citizen oversight and annual audits will ensure funds are spent as promised

The longer we wait to repair and upgrade our schools, the more expensive it will be.

Vote Yes on B.[3]

—Mary Fuhrman, Debbie Vanderwest, Jeff Bone, Gilbert Kim and Mary Ellen Hicks[2]

Opposition

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

See also

External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Orange County Elections Office website, "Impartial Analysis of Measure B," archived May 9, 2014
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named TEXT
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Orange County Elections Office website, "Tax Rate Statement for Measure B," archived May 9, 2014
  5. Upgrade Buena Park Schools website, "Endorsements," accessed May 9, 2014