California Proposition 170, Simple Majority Vote Needed to Approve School Bonds (1993)

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California Proposition 170 was on the November 2, 1993 general election ballot in California as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was defeated.

Proposition 170 would have amended Section 1 of Article XIII A and Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution to:

  • Allow school facilities bond measures to be approved by a simple majority vote (rather than a two-thirds vote) of the voters in local elections.
  • Allow property taxes to exceed the then-current 1 percent limit in order to repay the bonds.

Election results

Proposition 170
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No3,421,34269.3%
Yes 1,512,163 30.6%

Text of measure

Proposition 170 1993.PNG

The ballot title was:

PROPERTY TAXES. SCHOOLS. MAJORITY VOTE. DEVELOPMENT-FEE LIMITS. LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

The ballot summary was:

  • Authorizes ad valorem tax or special assessments on real property to exceed 1% limit to repay bonds approved by majority vote (rather than current two-thirds) in school districts, community college districts and counties, to construct, reconstruct, or rehabilitate schools.
  • Authorizes majority approval (rather than current two-thirds) for general obligation bonds of school districts, community college districts and counties, to construct, reconstruct, or rehabilitate schools, including purchasing land, furnishings and equipment.
  • Limits local authority to levy school-facilities fees on housing and commercial developments, even if statewide school-facilities bond proposition fails.

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

  • Probable annual savings to the state General Fund of several hundred million dollars, in future years, as a result of fewer statewide bond measures for school facilities.
  • Probable increased costs of a similar amount for local K-12 schools and community colleges to pay for school facilities that otherwise would have been paid for by the state. These additional costs would vary by individual district.

Path to the ballot

The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 170 on the ballot in Assembly Constitutional Amendment 6 (Statutes of 1992, Resolution Chapter 135).

External links