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Friday October 18th 2019

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School Bonds – Measure P and Prop P A Guilt Tax?

During the housing price boom from 2000 to 2008, school districts across the state were trying to pass bond measures while their revenue was climbing.  Instead of building and investing, they just spent.  Now during one of the worst long term economic periods in our history, they are still at it. This November, they are asking us, the renters and homeowners of California, to pay for their mismanagement of the boom money.

Ocean View School District in Huntington Beach Is Trying to pass Measure P and Ocean View School District in Oxnard for example is trying to pass their own as Proposition P. In Oxnard, they want to borrow $4.2Million Dollars.  In Huntington Beach on the School District Q&A page, they don’t tell you how much they want, only that this bill will cost $27 per $100k of assesed value per year.  In a neighborhood of seven figure homes that is a lot of money.

Remember, this isn’t a mortgage on their house, it is a mortgage on your house or the house you rent.  Education is an important part of our community, but it is time the schools need to better manage their money like the rest of us.  If you are a renter, this does effect you, your landlord will eventually raise the rent to cover this new tax.

A wise man who served the Los Angeles School Board for many years once told me that schools are a magic sponge for money.  It doesn’t matter how much you pour on them, they will never stop absorbing it.

If you are part of the 99% out there, you can’t afford any more taxes.  School Bonds are nothing more than a guilt tax.  Measure J6 in 2006 passed because the housing market was on the rise and everyone thought they were making money.  The odd part was, so were the schools.  Every time a home sold at a new higher price, up went the taxes and up went the income to the schools.

Even today, we are at higher taxable values than 2003 with many incomes still at or below the 2003 levels for homeowners and renters.  Home prices are rising in Orange County according to the Orange County Association of Realtors.  Since tax values can return to 2008 purchase prices very quickly, school districts should soon be seeing increases in income.

Don’t let a guilt tax sneak by you without knowing exactly what it really is and where the money is going.  The politicians and advisors for the school district use lots of buzzwords that mean nothing like “strong fiscal accountability”.  They add statements like “Prohibiting funds raised by the measure from being used for Administrators salaries or pensions…”

All of this just means they can use other funds for those things that might have gone to these same repairs.  Don’t let the school district fool you, Measure P and  Proposition P are an unneeded tax at a bad time.  Both Ocean View School Districts in the Beach Street living zone don’t need more of your money, they need fiscal responsibility to go with that “strong accountability” the expensive bond lawyers talk about in the voter pamphlets. 

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