Photo: Julie Leopo/EdSource
The article was updated at March 17 with the most recent vote total.

Why didn’t Proposition 13 get more support from voters on Tuesday?

That’s a good question — even if the $15 billion state construction bond manages a remarkable turnaround and squeaks by to win after the remaining votes are counted. Backers of the bond measure are still hopeful it will win, and at least one data analyst says it’s possible.

The California secretary of state reported Tuesday  in his latest report that 787,000 votes have yet to be counted. Prop.13 remains behind 46.3 to 53.7  percent, with a gap of 626,000  votes to make up.

What is clear is that supporters of the bond didn’t expect to be in this position. California voters have passed every construction bond for education since 1994, when voters narrowly defeated two small bonds, one for higher education and one for K-12 schools. The latest polls varied on what voters thought of Prop. 13. One from the Public Policy Institute of California put support at 51 percent; another, the PACE/USC Rossier Poll, put support at 64 percent (page 12). The measure needs a simple majority to win.

Supporters had reason for confidence going into Tuesday.

Good timing: Or at least that’s what they assumed when they chose the March primary election where there would be no competing initiatives and the Democratic presidential race would top the ballot, ensuring a big turnout of the voters belonging to the party identified with more government spending.

A well-funded campaign: $10 million behind the “Yes on Prop. 13” campaign compared with the $250,000 in radio ads that the anti-tax group Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association ran.

Abundant support: Organizations representing teachers, parents, school leaders, higher education groups, unions and business groups like the California Business Roundtable all endorsed Prop. 13.

So did Gov. Gavin Newsom. In 2016, former Gov. Jerry Brown refused to endorse the last bond — $9 billion through Prop. 51 — and it won. Newsom’s advisers negotiated the terms of Prop. 13, and he campaigned for it, with a TV ad and school appearances during the last week. His efforts, though, may not be enough.

Then why not?

Observers agree there are multiple, related reasons, not a single overriding one why the bond is in trouble.

No. 1 is actually number 13. There’s no dispute that voters associated this Prop.13 with the grandfather of all tax cuts, the Prop. 13 that voters passed in 1978. That caused confusion, and confused voters tend to say no on spending more money.

Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, who authored Assembly Bill 48, which created the wording of Prop. 13, must agree. He has declined so far to comment about the election results, but on Wednesday, he issued a press release announcing he would introduce legislation to retire the number 13 on future ballot measures. “We need to retire this ballot number to ensure voters are not misled,” he said.

Starting last November, when the bond became Prop. 13, and several times since (here and here), EdSource explained the process of numbering initiatives. It’s straightforward. Every decade, starting the year ending in “8,” the numbering cycle starts again. There were a dozen initiatives on state ballots in 2018; the state construction bond was the only measure appearing for the March primary, so it became Prop. 13.

The ballot summary of the bond made clear — to those who read it — that the principal and the $11 billion in interest on the bond would be repaid through the state’s general fund. But, as evident in comments to EdSource, Twitter and Nextdoor, many voters saw an underhanded effort to undermine the existing Prop. 13, and they were furious. In the new media era, ballot arguments are analog, while anger goes viral. “Do not believe a word of it. It totally is all about our property taxes that will increase and thousands of us will have to move out of Calif and possibly lose our homes,” wrote one reader to EdSource. Which gets to another reason the bond is in trouble:

Tax fatigue. Along with Prop. 13, Tuesday was a bad day for the 120 local school bond measures and 28 parcel taxes. The former need a 55 percent majority to pass, and the latter require two-thirds. Their passage numbers could improve, too, after all of the votes are counted. But it’s evident already that a historically high percentage of bonds and parcel taxes will fail. EdSource will soon publish a detailed analysis.

Robert Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable, which does its own polling, said, “From everything we see, there is a huge concern about housing affordability and the cost of living and about paying more taxes. The older electorate and homeowners in particular don’t see accountability; there’s cynicism about where the money goes. That’s why local measures failed.”

Economic uncertainty: The timing of the election also turned out to be unfortunate. Worry over a possible coronavirus pandemic, which triggered a plunge in stock market values, were unsettling, particularly for older voters dependent on savings, said Morgan Polikoff, associate professor of education at USC Rossier School of Education and adviser to the Rossier poll. That could explain why the support for Prop. 13 in the poll dropped, too, he said. “I’ve had the jitters, and financially I’m doing fine.”

And, he added, California is a high-tax state, so supporters had to make the case for the bond. “I didn’t get the sense that they did that,” he said. The campaign seemed “invisible.”

Added complexity: During negotiations with legislators, the Newsom administration insisted on adding conditions that complicated the effort to win support for the bond measure.

  • Giving districts that agree to use unionized workers on construction sites priority in line for matching state funding. That cemented the support of unions but could have irritated other voters concerned the school districts would be forced to pay higher construction costs.
  • Reducing fees that districts can charge multi-unit housing developers and eliminating fees for large residential complexes near transit lines. Newsom’s goal is to make housing a little more affordable in a state where developers face high fees. But it also cost key support in Los Angeles Unified, whose board members declined to endorse the bond over a potential loss of revenue.
  • Enlarging the bond. The administration insisted on adding funding for the University of California and California State University. O’Donnell’s bill funded only K-12 and community colleges. Newsom wanted a comprehensive approach to facilities, but $15 billion, a record amount for a state facilities bond for education, made it a bigger target for criticism.
  • Raising districts’ bonding capacity. Districts have a ceiling on the amount of construction bonds they can issue. It’s tied to a percentage of the assessed value of properties in the district. School organizations didn’t ask for a higher limit, but the California Department of Finance, without explaining why, raised it significantly, meaning school boards could seek more extensive and expensive school renovations or new buildings.

This section of the measure provided Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, an opening to spread the word that the language raised property taxes, even though district voters, not the state, would retain the power over how much they wanted to spend. The argument resonated.

“The provision raising the debt ceiling made it harder to argue clearly and emphatically that the bond would not raise property taxes. It complicated things,” said Kevin Gordon, president of Capitol Advisors Group, an education consulting company and a supporter of the bond

“Together, this mixture of issues that were added may have been our undoing,” he said.

If Prop. 13 does lose, Gordon hopes the Legislature returns with a simpler, less expensive, “clean” bill — focused on K-12 and without tangential issues that distracted from the need to help school districts with urgent facility needs.

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  1. sherry lansaw 1 day ago1 day ago

    Do not raise our taxes we are on a limited income and we have equity in our house and it would cause us to leave our home and our children

  2. Dave 4 months ago4 months ago

    Anyone tired of govt deception. Look at how the Gas Tax was played out so 1/2 the population didn’t know what they were voting for. This is no different – another smoke screen to pull more money out of everyone’s pocket. How about straight talk and straight up go figure out where to reduce cost to pay for what you want. Every business in this country prioritizes and drives continuous improvement; where’s their plan? How … Read More

    Anyone tired of govt deception. Look at how the Gas Tax was played out so 1/2 the population didn’t know what they were voting for. This is no different – another smoke screen to pull more money out of everyone’s pocket. How about straight talk and straight up go figure out where to reduce cost to pay for what you want.

    Every business in this country prioritizes and drives continuous improvement; where’s their plan? How about cutting some spending to pay for your wish list? This State is out of control with taxation it’s got to stop! Anyone check out gas prices in the rest of the country? I rest my case.

    Replies

    • Geoffrey Sadwith 2 months ago2 months ago

      Dave is right -- there is perhaps some govt. deception here to be nervous about -- "Proposition 13" the 2nd time around is a bit too coincidental for me... But anyway. Point is, a new property tax, now called Proposition 15, would be a new tax cutting into your overall income, And when business landlords are forced to pay more property tax, they’re going to raise their rents on commercial tenants, and … Read More

      Dave is right — there is perhaps some govt. deception here to be nervous about — “Proposition 13” the 2nd time around is a bit too coincidental for me… But anyway. Point is, a new property tax, now called Proposition 15, would be a new tax cutting into your overall income, And when business landlords are forced to pay more property tax, they’re going to raise their rents on commercial tenants, and those commercial tenants are going to raise their prices on us, on most goods & services… So we’ll have less cash to spend. More folks go broke!

      And with Coronavirus keeping millions of Californians out of work… the govt. will claim they need more cash so how long will it be before they kill property tax transfer, before they kill our ability to avoid property tax reassessment… to transfer parents property taxes, to keep parents’ property taxes, when inheriting property taxes from our Mom or Dad… Before they unravel parent to child transfer or parent to child exclusion rights. Then they’ll want to unravel our rights to Prop 58, to use a trust loan to buyout siblings’ property shares; usually called “sibling to sibling property transfer”. And that’s exactly how most of us see this thing going. You let them open the door to imposing new property taxes on us, and before you know it California is right back to before Prop 13 existed and Californians were losing their homes due to super high property taxes. Just look into the history, and the future just lays itself out — look at https://cloanc.com/tag/proposition-13 or research Prop 13 and 58 tax relief measures at info-sites like https://propertytaxtransfertrusts.com And what we can expect next from the CA govt. become clear as a crystal ball!

  3. michael 6 months ago6 months ago

    What I find amazing is the words that the “General Fund” was to pay back the astronomical amount of money to be borrowed on this bill if it won. I would like to know... who pays for the “General Fund?” Does the money come from the rainbow ? Does it grow on trees? Do you win the lottery 10 times over? No - the $$$ comes from the tax payers like you and … Read More

    What I find amazing is the words that the “General Fund” was to pay back the astronomical amount of money to be borrowed on this bill if it won. I would like to know… who pays for the “General Fund?” Does the money come from the rainbow ? Does it grow on trees? Do you win the lottery 10 times over? No – the $$$ comes from the tax payers like you and me who already suffer from the over taxation of the California law makers.

    This was a deliberate attempt to deceive the voters, taxpayers and public with lies and deceit. It lost because it was just too obvious and too soon after the SB-1 Road Tax Bond was diverted to everything except repairing our roads and infrastructure as they said it would. Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice… well it’s no joke – you lose!

  4. Bernie 6 months ago6 months ago

    Unions crying all the way from the bank. You know the unions sponsored the $10 million campaign for these bonds. School districts need to take care of their own schools. I currently pay $900 a year for the school district and the local community college! Enough already ….

    Replies

    • John Fensterwald 6 months ago6 months ago

      Bernie, unions – mainly buildings trades unions – were certainly a significant contributor to the campaign but organizations advocating for schools, community colleges and universities also gave big. Go here for a list of contributors to the biggest campaign fund.

  5. Jon B 6 months ago6 months ago

    I'm probably in the minority, but while I overall had no problem with most of the proposition -- I generally vote to support local school bonds, and think state matching is a good idea, the deal breaker for me was the giveaway to developers. I don't see developer education fees as fundamentally stopping much development or raising housing prices, but eliminating the fees puts a lot more burden on existing home … Read More

    I’m probably in the minority, but while I overall had no problem with most of the proposition — I generally vote to support local school bonds, and think state matching is a good idea, the deal breaker for me was the giveaway to developers. I don’t see developer education fees as fundamentally stopping much development or raising housing prices, but eliminating the fees puts a lot more burden on existing home property tax payers. I also would have loved to see data on why the cap increase was needed — how many districts are already at the debt limit?

  6. Vincent 7 months ago7 months ago

    Use the reserve instead.

  7. jskdn 7 months ago7 months ago

    “A school will have a lifespan of decades; taxpayers over time will benefit from it. Why shouldn’t they share the costs?”

    Should sharing in the costs of educating the children of California include an equitable burden between California taxpayers in that sharing?

  8. paul johnson 7 months ago7 months ago

    It is plain and simple why this Prop 13 did not pass. The state of California tried to pull a Fast one on the voters. All the ads on this bill would not say who and how it was to paid. The voters that voted No knew it would raise property taxes. No voters also know what happened to the gas tax, Gov Newsom. Diverted the Road repair tax funds to other Special … Read More

    It is plain and simple why this Prop 13 did not pass. The state of California tried to pull a Fast one on the voters. All the ads on this bill would not say who and how it was to paid.
    The voters that voted No knew it would raise property taxes. No voters also know what happened to the gas tax, Gov Newsom. Diverted the Road repair tax funds to other Special Projects, not for our highways this I know as a Caltrans worker.

  9. Mommadeana 7 months ago7 months ago

    There was no mention of the interest rate of 80% in the article. That was a major concern to me. Anybody who has ever taken out a loan would never agree to that rate.

    Replies

    • John Fensterwald 7 months ago7 months ago

      Mommadeana, EdSource's explainer said explicitly that the Legislative Analyst estimated the cost in interest would be $11 billion on top of the $15 billion principal. Interest costs over the 35 year repayment would add 73 percent to the cost of the principal. The LAO assumed the interest rate at 4 percent on bonds floated over 5 years. But the rate could go up or down, depending on the economy. Until recently, many people would have been … Read More

      Mommadeana, EdSource’s explainer said explicitly that the Legislative Analyst estimated the cost in interest would be $11 billion on top of the $15 billion principal. Interest costs over the 35 year repayment would add 73 percent to the cost of the principal. The LAO assumed the interest rate at 4 percent on bonds floated over 5 years. But the rate could go up or down, depending on the economy.

      Until recently, many people would have been happy with a 4 percent, 30-year home mortgage. The idea of paying for school construction over time through a bond is not a radical idea. A school will have a lifespan of decades; taxpayers over time will benefit from it. Why shouldn’t they share the costs?

  10. Pat 7 months ago7 months ago

    Thank god this bond measure was defeated. Californians are tired of been overtaxed. These school bonds have not made a better school system over the years. It has been the opposite. Public schools need competition to make them better instead they have become unproductive and lazy. We should be allowed to take our tax dollars to any school system that a parent deems is better for their kids.

  11. Shannon 7 months ago7 months ago

    The issue for many of us is that California claims to have a “surplus” yet wastes money on pet projects and illegals at taxpayer expense. We do not care how money is routed, it all comes down to the cost to us, and we are tired of the waste! The gas tax is a perfect example. The diversion of a dime of that money is not right!

  12. John Fensterwald 7 months ago7 months ago

    John and others, I too am puzzled why the Department of Finance and the Newsom administration added the provision nearly doubling the cap on school districts’ bonding capacity, which means that, with voters’ approval, districts could approve more bonds to build local facilities. School districts didn’t ask for this provision. But I don’t see any connection between raising the assessment cap and higher pension payments. Local school bonds pay for local facilities. School districts’ operating budgets, … Read More

    John and others,

    I too am puzzled why the Department of Finance and the Newsom administration added the provision nearly doubling the cap on school districts’ bonding capacity, which means that, with voters’ approval, districts could approve more bonds to build local facilities. School districts didn’t ask for this provision.

    But I don’t see any connection between raising the assessment cap and higher pension payments. Local school bonds pay for local facilities. School districts’ operating budgets, funded separately by the state, cover pension expenditures, including a big share of the unfunded pension liability that the Legislature saddled districts with. Prop. 13 would have provided matching money to school districts for help pay for their own projects. There’s been no evidence that money from the state’s education bond program has been used for any other purpose; nor would the state be able to issue the bonds for any other purpose. (Using the argument, as other commenters have, of shifting gas tax revenue to high speed rail as evidence the state could divert funding elsewhere is a red herring.)

    On another issue, it’s important to distinguish between state budget reserves and the projected surplus that Gov.Newsom is forecasting for next year. As a result of the huge drop in state revenue during the Great Recession, voters in 2014 passed the requirement that the state establish a budget stabilization account — the rainy day fund — to soften the impact next time a recession strikes. And Proposition 2 laid out how much to set aside every year. The rainy day fund is projected to be $21 billion next year; that money is off-limits and can’t be used to fund school construction projects. Prop. 2 required created a smaller rainy day for K-12 and community colleges, with tighter rules for putting money into it, and it’s projected to be around $500 million next year, which would be less than 1 percent of the $84 billion for K-14 (see pages 2 and 4 of the budget summary).

    There’s nothing to prevent the governor and Legislature to use the General Fund to pay for school facilities, and the Legislative Analyst has recommended switching to that, in order to lower the state’s long-term debt. Gov. Newsom is projecting a $6 billion budget surplus in 2020-21. Given the hit on the economy and the stock market from the coronavirus, the projected surplus may not be as big — or exist at all — when Newsom revises his budget in May.

    Replies

    • SD Parent 7 months ago7 months ago

      I suspect that raising the assessment cap for local school bonds was so that school districts could pay for increasing school capacity that would be needed due to the high-density, multi-family housing that would be built along transit corridors. If the developer wouldn’t be paying those infrastructure costs, then they fall on school districts via local bonds (and therefore the property owners in those school districts).

      • John Fensterwald 7 months ago7 months ago

        Probably so, SD Parent, unless the Legislature factored in the loss of revenue due to rules it imposed with a bigger state match. The other possibility – pure speculation here – is that the Department of Finance wanted to raise the cap on bonding capacity as the first step for the state to transfer full responsibility for funding facilities to local districts as a way to control state debt. The state could still use the … Read More

        Probably so, SD Parent, unless the Legislature factored in the loss of revenue due to rules it imposed with a bigger state match.

        The other possibility – pure speculation here – is that the Department of Finance wanted to raise the cap on bonding capacity as the first step for the state to transfer full responsibility for funding facilities to local districts as a way to control state debt. The state could still use the General Fund to help a small percentage of low-income and small districts with their building needs.

  13. Mick 7 months ago7 months ago

    It was simple for me. As stated we are a high taxed state. The people are done paying the government extra money. There are too many bonds already that aren’t paid for yet so why do we have to add another one. Use the money that is already being collected wisely, especially when there is a surplus or cushion that has been built up in the general fund.

  14. SD Parent 7 months ago7 months ago

    From what I heard from individuals in the San Diego area, the failure to vote for Prop 13 was a combination of taxation-fatigue, frustration over accountability, and confusion. Many folks (including retired teachers) commented on how much their property taxes have increased based on San Diego Unified bonds. This is due to a combination of three GO SDUSD bonds totaling a whopping $8.4 billion – Prop S in 2008, Prop Z in 2012, … Read More

    From what I heard from individuals in the San Diego area, the failure to vote for Prop 13 was a combination of taxation-fatigue, frustration over accountability, and confusion.

    Many folks (including retired teachers) commented on how much their property taxes have increased based on San Diego Unified bonds. This is due to a combination of three GO SDUSD bonds totaling a whopping $8.4 billion – Prop S in 2008, Prop Z in 2012, and Measure YY in 2018 – currently billing at $185 per $100,000 assessed property value. The sentiment was “not another school bond.”

    There were also folks voicing frustration over poor transparency and accountability with SDUSD bond funds: bonds being marketed as “lead in the water/school safety” (school safety was used to promote both Prop Z and Measure YY) and then seeing the school district prioritize things like stadium lights, turf fields, theaters, and other questionable uses instead of making the safety upgrades.

    And there was confusion over the split-roll initiative (which has been talked up by SDUSD for two years) and the numbering of this proposition with the number 13.

    I personally found the persistent narrative of only the positive aspects of Prop 13 by many organizations (e.g. CAPTA, CSBA, school boards, superintendents, and even student advocacy organizations) without even acknowledging the negative aspects of shifting the costs of school infrastructure from the developers of multi-family housing to school districts (and ultimately the homeowners who would bear the costs via school bonds) disturbing.

    So I’m not sad to see it fail and hope to see a “clean” bond that I can support.

  15. Donna 7 months ago7 months ago

    No more new taxes! We have schools closIng where I live due to not enough students.
    Just stop?

  16. John Hudson 7 months ago7 months ago

    California has he highest income tax in the nation. California has the highest sales tax in the nation. California has the highest gasoline tax in the nation. Nevada gets along with no income tax and a lower sales tax. Oregon gets by with no sales tax. For all the taxes we pay we should have the best of everything state government provides. All we get is an elite class of public employees with salaries and … Read More

    California has he highest income tax in the nation. California has the highest sales tax in the nation. California has the highest gasoline tax in the nation. Nevada gets along with no income tax and a lower sales tax. Oregon gets by with no sales tax. For all the taxes we pay we should have the best of everything state government provides. All we get is an elite class of public employees with salaries and pensions that the people who pay all these taxes can only envy. I am voting no on all taxes.

  17. Stephen Vaughen 7 months ago7 months ago

    John, good article, but you missed the real underlying issue as to why prop 13 failed: California has become the worst place in the US to be, 1. Rich 2. A business. 3. Middle class. California has systematically created an environment that has driven 1, 2, and 3 out of the State! Their only answer to the lost revenue is to extort those of us stupid enough to still be here! Toyota moved their headquarters from … Read More

    John, good article, but you missed the real underlying issue as to why prop 13 failed: California has become the worst place in the US to be, 1. Rich 2. A business. 3. Middle class.

    California has systematically created an environment that has driven 1, 2, and 3 out of the State! Their only answer to the lost revenue is to extort those of us stupid enough to still be here!

    Toyota moved their headquarters from Torrance to Texas (lots of jobs and state revenue).

    Tiger Woods moved to Florida from California (14% CA state tax goes to 0% state tax in Florida).

    Tesla chose Nevada over California for their new battery manufacturing plant (0% Nevada income tax and a more business friendly environment).

    Imagine the tax revenues CA state lost on just those 3 examples??!! Now multiply those 3 examples by thousands and you will see the real source of the problem. But, does Sacramento get it? No! Their answer (to their bumbling) is to charge me $1.5 extra per gallon (over Texas) for diesel to fill my SUV! Talk about extortion! How about the 14% state income tax!? Florida and Texas charge 0% ! Any idea why those states are attracting honest California taxpayers and businesses !! California voters are finally waking up! The answer is dead obvious!

  18. Brian E. Joyce 7 months ago7 months ago

    First of all it’s a sham that after 4 days there are that many ballots yet to be counted. Secondly people are finally getting smart as to where the money isn’t going too. It’s pretty obvious.

  19. C Stroup 7 months ago7 months ago

    Just say no to more $ to schools. Where has all the other money gone? And I want to see evidence that all these schools are in such dire straits. I've been to at least two dozen schools in local counties and I have not seen a single school fall within the disaster claims some of the proponents are claiming they need more bond $ to fix. Matter of fact, most of the … Read More

    Just say no to more $ to schools. Where has all the other money gone? And I want to see evidence that all these schools are in such dire straits. I’ve been to at least two dozen schools in local counties and I have not seen a single school fall within the disaster claims some of the proponents are claiming they need more bond $ to fix. Matter of fact, most of the schools I’ve seen have been built in the last 10 years or newer. So, where is all that bond money gone?

    Most of the funding for K–12 education comes from the state.

    “In 2018–19, California public schools received a total of $97.2 billion in funding from three sources: the state (58%), property taxes and other local sources (32%), and the federal government (9%). These shares vary across school districts. Of the 6.2 million K–12 students in California, about nine out of ten attend one of the nearly 9,000 regular schools in 1,026 school districts while the other 11% of students attend about 1,228 charter schools—which are publicly funded but not subject to some state regulations. More than half of public school students are economically disadvantaged, and about a quarter are English Learners.
    The state provides the majority of K–12 funding
    figure – The state provides the majority of K–12 funding

    SOURCE: Legislative Analyst’s Office-K–12 Funding by source. July 2018 report.

    NOTE: Figure excludes non–Proposition 98 state General Fund contributions—including funding for state-debt service payments for school facilities, state contributions to the State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), and California Department of Education operations.

    Court decisions and ballot initiatives have shaped and constrained school funding.For most of California’s history, school finance was a local concern: districts financed their operations with local property tax revenue supplemented by limited amounts of state and federal funding. Because property values and tax rates varied across the state, this approach created large differences in per pupil funding across districts. In 1971, the California Supreme Court ruled the system unconstitutional and ordered the state to equalize district funding. After Proposition 13 (passed in 1978) reduced the local property tax revenues available to schools, the state became the primary funder of K–12 education. In 1988, voters approved Proposition 98, which requires the state to dedicate a minimum of roughly 40% of its General Fund to K–14 education each year.”
    Source: https://www.ppic.org/publication/financing-californias-public-schools/

  20. Rob McCulley 7 months ago7 months ago

    What happened to all of the lottery money that was supposed to be the answer for maintaining our schools? What's happening to the gas tax money that is being diverted elsewhere? Why can't all of the high-speed rail money be accounted for? Even the stupid voters are starting to wake up and use what little common sense they have left. We are sick of the waste and misuse of our resources. Oh … Read More

    What happened to all of the lottery money that was supposed to be the answer for maintaining our schools? What’s happening to the gas tax money that is being diverted elsewhere? Why can’t all of the high-speed rail money be accounted for? Even the stupid voters are starting to wake up and use what little common sense they have left. We are sick of the waste and misuse of our resources. Oh wait, it gets better! We now have to choose whether to shower or to run 1 load laundry?!

  21. John 7 months ago7 months ago

    Just like the LAUSD property tax bill that failed several month ago, this proposition was created to hide its true intentions - double the cap that property owners will pay on their property taxes. This was a clear attempt to bury the details of this tax so more money can be spent on ballooning pensions. Why would California need to raise $15 billion in bonds for schools when we have $22 billion of surplus … Read More

    Just like the LAUSD property tax bill that failed several month ago, this proposition was created to hide its true intentions – double the cap that property owners will pay on their property taxes. This was a clear attempt to bury the details of this tax so more money can be spent on ballooning pensions.

    Why would California need to raise $15 billion in bonds for schools when we have $22 billion of surplus funds in the bank? Perhaps these funds are intended for something else. I can think of only one other use for these funds and that is to fund all of the pension plans for state workers.

    As Californias, we need to start thinking differently. All money that is sent to Sacramento and our local city halls (sales taxes, fees, parking tickets, property taxes and bond money) means more money for pensions. While the propositions never mentions pensions (I’m sure someone will point out, and they are correct), all you have to do is realize that if schools do not need to cover capital improvements, there is now more money for other things. As interest rates are nearing zero, pensions continue to be not fully funded and they are falling behind each day.

    We have also been told that we need to help out schools. Why is that? Because it works! It’s been 25 years since a school bond has failed. All taxpayers like helping teachers and our children. Now our children are being used as a marketing tool to get you to send more money. If the state can pay thousands of state workers for 60 years while only working 30 years, they can afford anything. Stop being played as the fool and stand up!

  22. Penny Pincher 7 months ago7 months ago

    Accountability! Figure out how to better use the funds that you already get.

  23. Me. stop taxing us 7 months ago7 months ago

    CA is already the most taxed state in the country, and Dems here have a long track record of stealing tax money for pet projects. Gas tax? Everyone promised it was to fix our roads. Instead road improvements were canceled and Newsom stole it for high speed rail. No more taxes.

  24. Joseph Romano 7 months ago7 months ago

    They didn’t state whether or not it is strictly for schools. This could easily end up in the politicians pockets…. They already retire with 75% of their current salary and they retire almost seven years before the norm.

    Replies

    • John Fensterwald 7 months ago7 months ago

      Joseph: Please read AB 48, which provided the wording for the bond.The money would go explicitly for school and higher ed construction. And districts would be in court challenging any use that was not in keeping with construction.

      • T 7 months ago7 months ago

        The same thing is said for every school bond measure. I call BS on you and all the other statists that have ruined this state.

  25. Lew wolff 7 months ago7 months ago

    I voted for the bond issue. But, reference to the LA Times excellent exposure of the wasted $5.3 billion Community College rebuilding bond issue tends to scare thoughtful voters. The lack of real over/sight is truly discouraging. The actual results of the $1.2 billion HHH bond issue to aid the homeless has been, in my opinion, a waste so far. I also voted for that bond issue. The need for qualified, independent and … Read More

    I voted for the bond issue. But, reference to the LA Times excellent exposure of the wasted $5.3 billion Community College rebuilding bond issue tends to scare thoughtful voters. The lack of real over/sight is truly discouraging. The actual results of the $1.2 billion HHH bond issue to aid the homeless has been, in my opinion, a waste so far. I also voted for that bond issue. The need for qualified, independent and measurable over-sight on all bond issues seems very important to me.

    Replies

    • Ann 7 months ago7 months ago

      Explain why the heck you would vote for it knowing what you know?

  26. Wayne Johnson 7 months ago7 months ago

    People are fed up with the costs of bonds. Look at the amount that has to be paid back. Twice that amount and it will have to come from government budgets which are paid by taxes and asessments.

  27. philip lee horner 7 months ago7 months ago

    There isn’t any reason for this measure that isn’t grounded in fraud, School budgets have repairs built right in the allocation formulas. The administrators rob the money out of the budgets…typically for raises. Plus there was a huge bond issue in 2016, This manuever was an attempted robbery.

  28. C.k.silva 7 months ago7 months ago

    Voters are tired of being taxed to death and tired of being lied to. High gas taxes and crappy roads, the train to nowhere, money diverted to the general fund, one moment the state is in fine shape, the next day there is a need to raise more money.

  29. Chris L. 7 months ago7 months ago

    Every year there’s a ballot measure or a proposition to raise taxes. I vote against them. Enough is enough! At this rate I’ll be selling my home and moving out of state. Trump 2020!

  30. John 7 months ago7 months ago

    Just like the LAUSD property tax bill that failed several month ago, this proposition was created to hide its true intentions - double the cap that property owners will pay on their property taxes. This was a clear attempt to bury the details of this tax so more money can be spent on ballooning pensions. The summary by Xavier Bercerra was so poorly written that he doesn’t even mention the doubling of the … Read More

    Just like the LAUSD property tax bill that failed several month ago, this proposition was created to hide its true intentions – double the cap that property owners will pay on their property taxes. This was a clear attempt to bury the details of this tax so more money can be spent on ballooning pensions. The summary by Xavier Bercerra was so poorly written that he doesn’t even mention the doubling of the property cap. He should be referred to the State Bar Associate for malicious intent to deceive the people of California.

    Why would California need to raise $15 billion in bonds for schools when we have $22 billion of surplus funds in the bank? Perhaps these funds are intended for something else. I can think of only one other use for these funds and that is to fund all of the pension plans for state workers.

    As Californias, we need to start thinking differently. All money that is sent to Sacramento and our local city halls (sales taxes, fees, parking tickets, property taxes and bond money) means more money for pensions. While the propositions never mentions pensions (I’m sure someone will point out, and they are correct), all you have to do is realize that if schools do not need to cover capital improvements, there is now more money for other things. As interest rates are nearing zero, pensions continue to be not fully funded and they are falling behind each day.

    We have also been told that we need to help out schools. Why is that? Because it works! It’s been 25 years since a school bond has failed. All taxpayers like helping teachers and our children. Now our children are being used as a marketing tool to get you to send more money. If the state can pay thousands of state workers for 60 years while only working 30 years, they can afford anything. Stop being played as the fool and stand up!

  31. Paul LaRiccia 7 months ago7 months ago

    I’m sure California corrupt system will manipulate. “Cheat” the vote like they always do.

    Replies

    • John Fensterwald 7 months ago7 months ago

      Paul, any evidence for this wildly inaccurate claim?

      • Patrick shurnas 7 months ago7 months ago

        Yeah, my evidence is based upon historical issues, you can’t trust the government or its governor to be responsible with the old money we have already given, gas tax is one proof, so I can’t believe that they will do the right thing ever with the gov’t and governor, it’s about power and control only. Again, why do you think so many of the successful entities are already leaving sunny California…..

  32. Queeg 7 months ago7 months ago

    Your assets, savings, health care are at high risk.These fanatics are no different than the Eastern Europe Communists who ruined the lives of millions of unsuspecting citizens.

  33. jskdn 7 months ago7 months ago

    I’m against the local bonds that would be required as a companion to this Prop 13 money because of the original Prop 13’s assessment provisions, which makes California ad valorem property taxation very unfair. Neighbors in similar market-valued homes often pay vastly different amounts of property taxes. This Prop 13 would have compounded that unfairness, raising the debt service limit from 2.5% to 4% for unified districts or elementary and high school districts combined. That’s … Read More

    I’m against the local bonds that would be required as a companion to this Prop 13 money because of the original Prop 13’s assessment provisions, which makes California ad valorem property taxation very unfair. Neighbors in similar market-valued homes often pay vastly different amounts of property taxes. This Prop 13 would have compounded that unfairness, raising the debt service limit from 2.5% to 4% for unified districts or elementary and high school districts combined. That’s from $2500 to $4000 in debt burden per $100,000 of Prop 13 assessed valuation, with its vast differences from market values.

    I may be an exception in wanting government to treat people equitably with regard to the tax burden it imposes. Certainly the ‘give-us-more-money’ people in government and those who want more from government don’t care. Neither do many Howard Jarvis-type people who only seem to care about what they pay. I wonder how many California voters would support revenue-neutral property tax burden equalization? Certainly the voters haven’t had the opportunity to choose that.

  34. Howard 7 months ago7 months ago

    Maybe it’s time to realize local schools are a local responsibility and improvements/repairs should be financed by local funds. When school bonds required a 2/3 vote and usually failed, it made sense to use state general obligation bonds. Two-thirds is no longer a hurdle. Servicing state bonds, particularly when the next downturn occurs, crowds out other state programs such as higher education.

  35. Albert 7 months ago7 months ago

    No confusion here, we’re just tired of all the taxes and the lies. No way these funds were going towards schools. We’ve learned from the past.

  36. Wendy 7 months ago7 months ago

    There is no confusion, it’s not the Corona virus, it’s not a poorly written title! No more taxes! We are taxed out!!!

  37. Amanda 7 months ago7 months ago

    So happy it did not pass. All we do is give and give to schools. Who ends up with the money? Unions!
    The money never goes to where we are told it will go.

    Even if I was 100% sure the money would go to schools I would demand a through audit of the current budget to see exactly where every cent is being spent

  38. Art 7 months ago7 months ago

    California Democrats in charge in Sacramento just have a Tax and Spend Mentality. We got taxed on High Speed Rail to Nowhere for billions of our tax dollars. Now they need our tax money that will really go to teachers pensions and none of it for the kids. We must stop this insanity now. Always check with Howard Jarvis Prop 13 views before voting so we do not lose our homes to being taxed. … Read More

    California Democrats in charge in Sacramento just have a Tax and Spend Mentality. We got taxed on High Speed Rail to Nowhere for billions of our tax dollars. Now they need our tax money that will really go to teachers pensions and none of it for the kids. We must stop this insanity now. Always check with Howard Jarvis Prop 13 views before voting so we do not lose our homes to being taxed. Sacramento wants to over turn Prop 13 that protects our taxation !

  39. Robert Wilder 7 months ago7 months ago

    The Democrats have been trying to over turn Prop 13 passed in 1978 for 42 years now, any proposition that has to do with our property taxes should be shot down automatically. The Democrats will try to deceive you, making you think it is for the children, or grandma and grandpa, but their only goal is to lift the protections we passed in 1978 on our property taxes. Don’t be fooled.

  40. Skip 7 months ago7 months ago

    We are currently on the hook for $53 Billion on school bonds at the state level starting in 1998. Where did that money go?

    If the State is looking for money then implement pension reform !!

  41. Jim Powell 7 months ago7 months ago

    Bond measures are categorically problematical insofar as they amount to welfare for investors. Prop. 13 would generate $15 billion for schools and $11 billion for investors, at a time when the State of California has over $600 billion in the bank. We California citizens need to fundamentally rethink public finance to remove such needless tolls paid to people who don’t need them. North Dakota knows how. And Los Angeles is learning.

  42. me 7 months ago7 months ago

    This is the most heavily taxed and bonded state!
    Sadly it is grossly mismanaged. We’re on to you and we do not trust you to run this state.

  43. Allene Elder 7 months ago7 months ago

    The reason why the huge bond issue did not pass is because the citizens are waking up to how badly this money gets spent. We citizens have voted for billions of bond money to be spent on education and none of it went to where the liberals said it would go. Has anyone woken up to the fact that a whole lot of citizens are sick and tired of being taken for fools.

  44. Pat 7 months ago7 months ago

    Problem is every election they get money to fix the same problems – in 2016, $9 billion was approved to fix the school issues – where did that money get spent???

  45. Todd S. 7 months ago7 months ago

    I used to vote yes on bond measures like this all the time. I even voted yes on high speed rail in '08. But time and time again, Sacramento lies and cheats and spends all that tax money on other things, all while they sit on a $20 billion surplus in the bank. I no longer trust them and I no longer believe a word they say, so when they come asking for more money … Read More

    I used to vote yes on bond measures like this all the time. I even voted yes on high speed rail in ’08. But time and time again, Sacramento lies and cheats and spends all that tax money on other things, all while they sit on a $20 billion surplus in the bank. I no longer trust them and I no longer believe a word they say, so when they come asking for more money I am no voting no on anything they ask for. It’s going to be many years before I trust them again.

  46. Stephen 7 months ago7 months ago

    Reasons: (1) $15B is too big a number; (2) It was not honestly described – it permits school districts to double their debt load; (3) Voters are catching on to why so many taxes, bonds and related measures continue to flood the ballot - government at all levels will not come to grips with unfunded pension and retiree health care obligations; and, (4) Confusion about Prop 13. The next over-reach – attacking the real Prop … Read More

    Reasons: (1) $15B is too big a number; (2) It was not honestly described – it permits school districts to double their debt load; (3) Voters are catching on to why so many taxes, bonds and related measures continue to flood the ballot – government at all levels will not come to grips with unfunded pension and retiree health care obligations; and, (4) Confusion about Prop 13. The next over-reach – attacking the real Prop 13 in November via split roll – is going to expose these issues and will mean a resounding defeat for all of the same issues. The pension/retiree healthcare obligation must be addressed via serious reform.

  47. Shane Wilson 7 months ago7 months ago

    Here is the issue: the California government cannot be trusted with money. Just like the gas and car tax hike, the money went elsewhere. Our governor has stolen billions to fund anti-driving efforts rather than fix our infrastructure. Every time, without fail, taxes are raised here, the government does with it what it promised it wouldn't. On top of that, there is an alleged surplus of money, so use that! California is killing the middle … Read More

    Here is the issue: the California government cannot be trusted with money. Just like the gas and car tax hike, the money went elsewhere. Our governor has stolen billions to fund anti-driving efforts rather than fix our infrastructure. Every time, without fail, taxes are raised here, the government does with it what it promised it wouldn’t. On top of that, there is an alleged surplus of money, so use that! California is killing the middle class with the constant increase in taxes, and something has got to stop. Unfortunately this state is likely a lost cause…

  48. Ann 7 months ago7 months ago

    Maybe just maybe (hopefully) Californians are just tired of spending on a gigantic failed bureaucracy run entirely by a corrupt political system funded by public sector and a few other unions and construction/developers hellbent on permanent one-party power.Students are objectively failing to learn, most especially the nearly 50% who are the children of immigrants. https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/frequently-requested-statistics-immigrants-and-immigration-united-states#Immigrants%20in%20the%20Labor%20Force

  49. Richard Markuson 7 months ago7 months ago

    Excellent analysis, John. The bond was the proverbial Christmas tree, money for colleges and universities, a gift to the State Building and Construction Trades Council in the PLA language, fee reductions for builders and the higher borrowing limits that bond counsel and all the school construction lobby liked. And it was the proverbial 11th hour deal with almost no time for tweeks and changes. It was presented as a take-it-or-leave-it. The campaign for a replacement bond is underway.

  50. Westwind 7 months ago7 months ago

    The reason why Prop 13 failed is not rocket science. Read the editorials of the San Jose Mercury News, San Diego Union-Tribune, and Orange County Register opposing Prop 13. That is why it failed.

  51. E Hughes 7 months ago7 months ago

    Always a good rundown from John. The misinformation effort was really strong on this one. Regardless of facts presented, there were multiple efforts to derail this by connecting it to the old Prop 13. Retiring the number is a good idea, as the connotation is too strong, and apparently no level of clarification helps.

  52. Ken Woodward 7 months ago7 months ago

    Our state has a history of not telling the truth about how much $ will be spent, how much $ is actually needed, and exactly where the $ will be spent and on what it will be spent on. We are tired of dishonesty.

  53. Charles 7 months ago7 months ago

    If I believed funds would 100% go to schools, no doubt, I’d vote Yes. But as of late, if you look at our gas tax and others, they’ve been diverted elsewhere. Just more taxes with very little accountability with it going where it wasn’t slated for.

  54. Seth Feldman 7 months ago7 months ago

    Three alternative reasons why Prop 13 might have failed: 1. Prop 13 was a poorly written proposition and was extremely expensive. The cost to borrow the money was ridiculously expensive and considering we have the money right now, just spend it. 2. Charter schools were left out of the equation. Too many charter schools are in poor conditioned schools and those parents won't support spending more money on schools that their kids don't … Read More

    Three alternative reasons why Prop 13 might have failed:

    1. Prop 13 was a poorly written proposition and was extremely expensive. The cost to borrow the money was ridiculously expensive and considering we have the money right now, just spend it.

    2. Charter schools were left out of the equation. Too many charter schools are in poor conditioned schools and those parents won’t support spending more money on schools that their kids don’t attend. You can’t alienate all those parents, antagonize that group and then be shocked when they vote no. Time to mend fences and support all CA students.

    3. The big districts in the state are broken – LAUSD, OUSD, SFUSD – and people won’t give them a nickel until they fix their facilities and broken budgets and rightsize their budgets.

    Replies

    • SD Parent 7 months ago7 months ago

      You can add SDUSD (San Diego Unified) to your list.

  55. G.A. 7 months ago7 months ago

    Maybe, just maybe, people read it for once and realized their property taxes were subversively on the table to pay for these bonds. Quit trying to rob Peter to pay Paul, Governor Newsom.

  56. Tony Pavone 7 months ago7 months ago

    During the last economic crisis, rather than reducing state costs, more property taxes were taken away from schools and given to Sacramento. That episode was over 12 years ago. If schools need the money, give the property taxes back to the schools.

  57. michael denman 7 months ago7 months ago

    What I see is that when bonds are made, then we pay for the bonds not the state. It will show up on our property tax and raise what is already a ridiculous amount of tax. Before I sign anything for tax or any money going to the government, what happened with the money we have already given you? The money from the lottery. We have a surplus of money, use that instead of bleeding us dry.

  58. Aaron 7 months ago7 months ago

    Regardless if it’s related to the original Prop 13, n more taxes!!! California has what it needs and needs to budget better and cut spending on frivolous programs that help those unwilling to work hard. No more free handouts!!

  59. Jennifer Bestor 7 months ago7 months ago

    Sacramento needs to take a long, hard look at its rhetoric versus its actions towards K-12 education finance. Voters live the reality. Polls like PACE/USC Rossier show residents' growing pessimism about the direction of the public schools — and that parents’ views in particular have dropped sharply. Post-recession promises have not led to tangible results. A decade of economic expansion — reflected in climbing property tax and income tax rolls — has … Read More

    Sacramento needs to take a long, hard look at its rhetoric versus its actions towards K-12 education finance. Voters live the reality. Polls like PACE/USC Rossier show residents’ growing pessimism about the direction of the public schools — and that parents’ views in particular have dropped sharply. Post-recession promises have not led to tangible results.

    A decade of economic expansion — reflected in climbing property tax and income tax rolls — has left many school districts in reliably liberal areas worse off than 12 years ago when it comes to staff and programs. Districts are struggling to pay off the pension overhang while coping with declining enrollments. When you and your neighbors pay more in taxes — but receive less in services — you lose faith. And when the system silently removes $1 billion of your local education-allocated property tax, you lose a lot of faith. (To put $1 billion in context, the entire cost-of-living increase for all K-12 schools across California next year will be $1.1 billion.) Voter-taxpayers in Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara feel their $950-million share of that hole — especially since it sits on top of $10 billion of their state income tax that leaves and doesn’t return.

    Last summer, the unions got all excited about the “traction” they were getting with strikes. Politicians and staffers doubled down on relative voter willingness to pay more taxes “for schools.” But the rhetoric for six long years has been all about massive increases in school spending, while the fact has been that much of that was simply paying back deferrals. It isn’t tax fatigue — it’s the disconnect between taxes and truth. If Gov. Newsom wants this to turn around, he had better get existing taxes for schools into schools. Fast.