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Tony Manolatos

San Diego Unified is Poway By The Sea

San Diego Politics & Media Mashup

Cross-posted at San Diego Rostra

I want to highlight a story in Thursday’s U-T San Diego: “Tax Group to Oppose San Diego School Bonds” It’s worth your attention because it does a nice job of laying out a financial crisis similar to the one in Poway that has received national attention.

In short, the San Diego Unified School District is Poway By The Sea.

In Poway, a $105 voter-approved tax is going to cost $1 billion to pay back. In San Diego, Proposition S, which voters approved four years ago for $2.1 billion, is going to end up costing $10 to $14 billion with interest. That’s not a typo.

As the U-T story notes, “the district has issued $530 million of the Proposition S bonds, which will cost $2.5 billion to repay. At that rate, the entire $2.1 billion Proposition S program could cost $10 billion to $14 billion to repay, the taxpayer group (San Diego County Taxpayers Association) said.”

It gets better. San Diego Unified wants to raise taxes again. This November, it’s asking voters to approve Proposition Z — a $2.8 billion bond.

In the U-T story, a financial adviser contracted by the school district makes a couple points worth mentioning. First, he says the district’s ballooning debt is not a cause for concern even though it’s going to double in two years and grow from there. That’s if voters reject Prop. Z. He then says the San Diego County Taxpayers Association’s projection — the one that points out that a $2.1 billion bond is likely going to cost taxpayers $10 to $14 billion — is accurate.

The consultant running the campaign for the school district couldn’t come up with any figures to dispute the ones from the Taxpayer Association. So he resorted to personal attacks.

As I said at the beginning of this post, read the story. It’s all there.

Disclaimer: The San Diego County Taxpayers Association is a client of mine.


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