By Josh Altic
In the first six months of 2013 there have already been 253 bond measures voted on in the 10 states covered by the school bond portion of Ballotpedia's latest school finance measures report. According to last years half-year report there were 258 measures, five more than in this year. But the money requested this year surpasses 2012 figures by over $1 billion dollars. This year in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin $7,505,192,639 of school debt increases were requested compared to the first six months of last year, in which $6,275,330,000 was requested. Moreover 71% of all debt requested was approved this year, amounting to almost $5.4 billion, while last year in the same time period only 66% of requested bond money was approved, totaling about $4.1 billion, nearly $1.3 billion less than was approved this year.
Of the states followed on the site, Michigan had the most school bond issues voted on with a total of 43 measures, 32 of which were approved; this yields an approval rating of 74%. Only Illinois had an approval rating below 50 percent. Overall approval of bonds for January-June 2013 was 72%. Of all the states included in the table, Texas had the most bond measures voted on in January-June 2013 with a total of 98 measures, 84 of those being approved by voters, yielding an approval rating of 87%.
Below is a table from the report showing the bond money amounts for each state covered:
Winning percentage above 70% Winning percentage below 50%
Michigan requires ballot question elections if a school district wants to issue new bonding or exceed the sinking fund levy limit or property tax cap set by law. Michigan law restricts how school districts can use excess levy limit election proceeds if approved. Also, Michigan has some of the toughest school bond laws in the nation requiring approval by the Michigan School Bond Qualification and Loan Program which is guaranteed by the Michigan Constitution. Michigan is one of a handful of states that uses the mill rate formula over a lengthy mathematical formula in expressing the property tax cap. The cap protected by the Michigan Property Tax Limitation Act of 1933.
Alcona • Alger • Allegan • Alpena • Antrim • Arenac • Baraga • Barry • Bay • Benzie • Berrien • Branch • Calhoun • Cass • Charlevoix • Cheboygan • Chippewa • Clare • Clinton • Crawford • Delta • Dickinson • Eaton • Emmet • Genesee • Gladwin • Gogebic • Grand Traverse • Gratiot • Hillsdale • Houghton • Huron • Ingham • Ionia • Iosco • Iron • Isabella • Jackson • Kalamazoo • Kalkaska • Kent • Keweenaw • Lake • Lapeer • Leelanau • Lenawee • Livingston • Luce • Mackinac • Macomb • Manistee • Marquette • Mason • Mecosta • Menominee • Midland • Missaukee • Monroe • Montcalm • Montmorency • Muskegon • Newaygo • Oakland • Oceana • Ogemaw • Ontonagon • Osceola • Oscoda • Otsego • Ottawa • Presque • Roscommon • Saginaw • St. Clair • St. Joseph • Sanilac • Schoolcraft • Shiawassee • Tuscola • Van Buren • Washtenaw • Wayne • Wexford
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