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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Kevin Dayton

Compton Unified School District Authorized By 3.1% of Its Registered Voters to Borrow $350 Million

Preliminary results for the November 3, 2015 elections held in some California counties indicate that voters approved eight of the nine bond measures proposed by a total of eight California school districts. Voter approval means that the districts are now authorized to borrow a specific maximum amount of money for facilities construction by selling bonds to investors. The districts will pay back the investors over time, with interest, by collecting property taxes designated to paying off the bonds.

At this link is a chart (depicted to the right in miniature) that provides the latest preliminary data about the nine bond measures, the election results, and the current debt service… Read More

Kevin Dayton

Preparing for California’s Life Cycle of Bond Measures and Proposed Tax Increases

Every Four Years, A Golden Opportunity for Revenue Enhancement

November 8, 2016 will likely be a triumphant day for Californians who believe individuals, households, and businesses aren’t giving enough of their money to the government.

The recent deliberation and turmoil in the California legislature about tax increases will be handed off to voters, who will make quick decisions based primarily on deceptive ballot titles. Meanwhile, as many as 150 local K-12 school and community college districts will ask voters for authorization to borrow money for construction via bond sales. In addition, voters will get to consider local parcel taxes, utility taxes, transportation taxes, San Francisco Bay Restoration taxes – all sorts of taxes.

Why is this election going to be so special? Political consultants assume that Californians inspired to vote because of the historic candidacy of Hillary Clinton for President will extend their excitement to the approval of taxes, borrowing, and spending farther down the ballot.

This assumption is based on performance of bond measures and proposed tax increases in the past two presidential… Read More

Kevin Dayton

Be Proud of Your New Middle School Gymnasium! (Don’t Mention the $61 Million Debt for Borrowing $14 Million)

The coalition seeking to put a statewide bond measure for school construction on the ballot in California in 2016 appears to have succeeded. It submitted petitions with signatures to the California Secretary of State several weeks ahead of the deadline.

The Secretary of State will soon determine if the coalition obtained enough valid signatures to qualify the bond measure for the ballot. Based on current projections, California voters will indeed get the chance in 2016 to authorize the State of California to borrow $9 billion via bond sales to help local school districts build or renovate facilities.

Three ballot measures authorizing the state to borrow a total of $35.8 billion for school construction passed easily in the mid-2000s.… Read More

Kevin Dayton

Six California School Districts Will Ask Voters on November 3 to Borrow $1.2 Billion From Bond Investors

In July 2015 the California Policy Center publishedFor the Kids:California Voters Must Become Wary of Borrowing Billions More from Wealthy Investors for Educational Construction. This report exhaustively details howCalifornia voters from 2001 through 2014 authorized the State of California and 642 local educational districts to borrow a total of $146 billion for facility construction, resulting in an astonishing $200 billion in debt now owed to bond investors. It also reveals the many obscure bond finance and expenditure schemes adopted by school and college districts over the past 15 years to circumvent taxpayer protections and voter intentions.

Obviously the study has been criticized by politicians and the many interests that make money from bond measures. But data-based assessment of bond measures has also been criticized by advocates for fiscal responsibility. On August 16, I received an… Read More

Kevin Dayton

It’s Winnable! Conditions Are Ripe for a Republican to Get Elected in 2014 as California State Treasurer

News media and California Republican Party activists are focused on which Republicans are running for Governor, and rightfully so.

But there is anotherelected statewide office that invites a campaign based on intellectual and popular arguments in support of fiscal responsibility.

That obscure but influential office is California State Treasurer.

And that office is quite winnable for a libertarian populist-styleRepublican who can credibly argue to The People against crony capitalism and build a majority coalition of support from voters on the Left and Right.

Why isn’t a smart, dynamic Republican with this kind of thinking jumping into this race? What an opportunity! Below are five winning issues for a Republican candidate for California State Treasurer.

1. Educate Voters about Bonds and Bond Measures

Bonds are free money that comes from President Obama or somewhere, right?

Californians don’t know that state and local “bond measures” on the ballot authorize governments to borrow money from Wall Street and pay it back – with interest. The so-called “One Percent”… Read More

Kevin Dayton

California Supporters of Economic and Personal Freedom Can Plan for 2014 by Thinking Locally

Want to advance and protect economic and personal freedom in California in 2014?

Turn off the talk radio. Instead, turn on Cable Channel 19 or whatever station broadcasts your local government meetings. Or look up your local government web sites for agendas, minutes, and archived videos of meetings.

You may discover the Left advancing its agenda through the mundane policy implementation and administrative operations of your local governments, with virtually no resistance or news media coverage. But you can turn the tables.

Here are two suggestions on how YOU can make a difference in 2014 in your city.

Explain Bond Measures to Your Friends, Neighbors, and Coworkers

California voters almost always approve ballot measures that authorize local K-12 school and community college districts to borrow money for construction by selling bonds. Most voters know little about school construction finance. They vote for bond measures to “help the kids.”

While this incomplete knowledge about bond measures gives educational districts a chance to mismanage huge amounts of money with impunity, it also gives you the opportunity in… Read More