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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
San Diego County, CA November 7, 2006 Election
Proposition M
$694 Million Community College Bond Measure
Palomar Community College District

School Bond - 55% Approval Required

Pass: 103380 / 57.90% Yes votes ...... 75163 / 42.10% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Results as of Jan 4 9:40am
Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Tax Rate Statement |

To better prepare Palomar College students for university transfer and high demand jobs, shall Palomar Community College District repair/upgrade aging educational facilities, including classrooms for nursing, emergency medical, and public safety careers, science and high-tech computer labs, outdated plumbing, ventilating, roofing, energy, electrical and safety systems, acquire sites and equipment, and construct new educational facilities, by issuing $694 million in bonds, at legal rates, with citizen oversight, mandatory audits, and no proceeds used for administrative salaries?

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
A "yes" vote is a vote in favor of authorizing the Palomar Community College District to issue and sell $694,000,000 in general obligation bonds.

A NO vote on this measure means:
A "no" vote is a vote against authorizing the Palomar Community College District to issue and sell $694,000,000 in general obligation bonds.

Impartial Analysis from the County Counsel
This proposition, if approved by 55% of the voters voting on the proposition, would authorize the Palomar Community College District ("District") to issue and sell $694,000,000 in general obligation bonds on its behalf. The sale of these bonds by the District is for the purpose of raising money for the District, and represents a debt of the District. In exchange for the money received from the holder of the bonds, the District promises to pay the holder of the bonds an amount of interest for a certain period of time, and to repay the loan on the expiration date.

Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by this proposition may be used by the District only for the construction, reconstruction and/or rehabilitation of its community college facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of its facilities, acquisition, or lease of real property for its facilities and construction management by District personnel.

The interest rate on any bond, which is established at the time of bond issuance, cannot exceed 12% per annum. The final maturity date of any bond could be no later than 25 years after the date of bonds issued pursuant to the Education Code or not later than 40 years after the date of bonds issued pursuant to the Government Code. Principal and interest on the bonds would be paid by revenue derived from an annual tax levied upon the taxable property within the District in an amount sufficient to pay the interest as it becomes due and to provide a fund for payment of the principal on or before maturity.

Article XIII A of the California Constitution exempts from the one percent property tax rate limitation ad valorem taxes to pay the interest and redemption charges on any bonded indebtedness for the acquisition or improvement of real property, including the furnishing and equipping of community college facilities, when approved by 55% of the voters if: (a) the proceeds from the sale of the bonds are used only for the purposes specified, (b) the District, by evaluating safety, class size reduction, and information technology, has approved a list of specific projects to be funded, (c) the District will conduct an annual, independent performance audit, and (d) the District will conduct an annual, independent financial audit. If a bond measure is approved by 55% of the voters, state law requires the governing board of the District to establish an independent citizens' oversight committee. The District has made this ballot proposition subject to these requirements.

Approval of this proposition does not guarantee that the proposed projects in the District that are the subject of these bonds will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by this proposition.

  Official Information

Palomar Community College
News and Analysis

The Telescope

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Arguments For Proposition M Arguments Against Proposition M

Since Palomar College opened in 1946 to serve our community, 60 years ago, nearly threequarters of a million local students have benefited from the College's high quality, affordable education. When many of Palomar's current facilities were built several decades ago, most students were young or returning from the war. Today students of all ages look to Palomar College for job training, on-going education or to complete courses for transfers to 4-year educational institutions.

Although the College has an outstanding reputation, dozens of its buildings are now 50 years old with deteriorated electrical, plumbing, lighting, heating, ventilation, and security systems. These aging educational facilities are subject to constant use and are costly to operate. Inadequate classrooms and laboratories negatively impact instruction, job training and career advancement.

Proposition M will provide funds to MAINTAIN and MODERNIZE deteriorated Palomar College facilities and add classrooms and instructional facilities.

Proposition M will:

  • Upgrade nursing and emergency medical career training labs
  • Modernize outdated science, computer and job training labs/equipment
  • Upgrade electrical and technology infrastructure
  • Repair/replace deteriorated roofs, plumbing, lighting, heating, and ventilation systems
  • Improve energy efficiency
  • Modernize/replace outdated classrooms and student support facilities
  • Complete safety upgrades to college buildings and grounds

Proposition M will improve and expand job training programs for some of our community's most critical professions including nurses, paramedics, police and firefighters.

All Proposition M funds will stay in our community to benefit Palomar College. By law, every dollar must go into facility upgrades. No funds can be used for administrative salaries.

Proposition M mandates accountability and controls. Independent audits must be conducted annually. An Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee will monitor all expenditures to ensure funds are spent properly.

Proposition M is enthusiastically supported by educators, public safety professionals, business and civic leaders, and citizens throughout our community.

Please vote YES on Proposition M.

Registered Nurse/Nursing Professor
Scientist/Business Owner
Mayor, City of Escondido
President & CEO, San Diego North Economic Development Council
Professor, Palomar College

Rebuttal to Arguments For
  • Proponents mislead voters by asserting that "every dollar [from this bond] must go into faculty upgrades. No funds can be used for administrative salaries." Actually, such money is fungible + dollars raised by this measure frees up EXISTING construction and repair dollars to be spent elsewhere + including on opulent salaries and lavish pensions.

  • Like most efforts to pass school bonds, Palomar Community College bureaucrats point to unsafe buildings that are in disrepair. It's a standard pitch. We give them tons of tax money, and they can't maintain our schools. Their solution? Give 'em even MORE money.

  • It's not like district tax revenue isn't rising. In the last 7 years, the district's receipts from property taxes have essentially DOUBLED. We don't need to pay even more property taxes for bonds.

  • Why should we reward such mismanagement with even more tax dollars? And what does that teach our young people about accountability?

  • Guess what? This isn't the only property tax increase on your ballot. Prop 88 is a statewide real estate parcel tax for + you guessed it + education. If Prop 88 passes, it will break the back of Prop 13, allowing future statewide property tax measures to pass with a simple majority vote.

  • It's time to draw the line in the sand. We must send a message + NO more tax increases! Vote NO on ALL the tax and bond measures on your ballot.

And, in particular, please vote NO on Prop M.

Chair, San Diego Tax Fighters
Chairman, San Diego Libertarian Party

  • Apparently politicians believe that money DOES grow on trees. Why else would we see over forty BILLION dollars' worth of state bonds on the ballot? Plus two major statewide tax increases and a massive oil "fee" increase?

  • You'd think that there's a shortage of revenue + that somehow we taxpayers are not paying our "fair share." But the truth is that government revenue streams are growing nicely WITHOUT new taxes being levied or raised. Compared to other states, our state and local taxes are quite high already.

  • It's become a cliché, but it is still true + we don't have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem!

  • That being said, do we need to spend even more money on community college education + issuing school bonds? No!

  • We taxpayers already spend quite a lot on community college education. If further funding is needed, which is doubtful, then it should be the students and their families who foot the bill through higher tuitions. There is no reason for community colleges to be so much cheaper than state colleges such as SDSU.

  • Low income students already can get relief from paying full tuition. But the rest should pay a more reasonable tuition to reflect the value of these courses.

  • The LAST thing we need to do is go deeper into debt for our community colleges. It's time for bureaucrats to better utilize the money that we ALREADY spend on education.

This ballot is awash with bonds and tax increases. Enough is enough!

If you think that your taxes are already too high, or just feel that taxes are high enough, you should vote NO.

Please vote NO! on Prop M.

For more information, contact San Diego Tax Fighters phone 858-530-3027

RICHARD RIDER Chair, San Diego Tax Fighters RICHARD G. MILLS Owner, Printing Business HELEN JANIEC Ramona Resident WAYNE R. DEETER General Contractor (Retired)

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
There are two things you should know about the people who wrote the ballot argument against Proposition M.

1. They submitted the same ballot argument (almost word for word) against other school bonds in San Diego County.

2. Apparently, they haven't taken the time to visit Palomar College or they would know, as we do, the critical need for Proposition M.

Here are the facts:

After 50-60 years, Palomar College NEEDS major repair and modernization. Buildings are old. Upgrades are critical to maintaining local community college facilities.

Palomar College spent two years developing one of the most comprehensive and detailed educational Facilities Master Plans in the state prior to placing Proposition M on the ballot. Only essentials are included. There are no frills, no expensive wish lists, no blank checks.

ALL Proposition M funds must stay local to improve Palomar College facilities. ALL funds are subject to proper controls, including mandatory audits and Independent Citizens' Oversight.

The cost of Proposition M is modest + $14.72 per $100,000 of assessed value (not market value). The entire cost of this measure is deductible on State and Federal taxes.

Nurses, firefighters, police, and emergency medical workers support Proposition M because many received training at Palomar College and know that future public safety professionals will benefit from improved classrooms and job training facilities at the College.

Don't be persuaded by people with little to no knowledge about the needs of our community and our local college. Proposition M is a prudent, responsible measure and a good investment.

Please VOTE YES on M.

San Diego County Sheriff
Business Leader, President & CEO Palomar Pomerado Health System
Palomar College Graduate
Fire Chief, City of San Marcos
65-year Resident & Palomar College Professor, Retired

Tax Rate Statement from the District Superintendent/President
An election will be held in Palomar Community College District (the "District") on November 7, 2006, for the purpose of submitting to the electors of the District the question of incurring a bonded indebtedness of the District in a principal amount of $694,137,712. If such bonds are authorized and sold, the principal thereof and interest thereon will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. The following information regarding tax rates is given to comply with Section 9401 of the California Elections Code. Such information is based upon the best estimates and projections presently available from official sources, upon experience within the District, and other demonstrable factors.

Based upon the foregoing and projections of the District's assessed valuation, and assuming the entire debt service will be paid through property taxation:

1. The best estimate of the tax which would be required to be levied to fund the bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first series of bonds based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement is $14.72 per $100,000 of assessed valuation for the year 2007-08.

2. The best estimate from official sources of the tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund the bond issue during the first fiscal year after the last sale of the bonds and an estimate of the year in which that rate will apply, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $14.72 per $100,000 of assessed valuation for the year 2020-21.

3. The best estimate of the highest tax rate which would be required to be levied to fund the bond issue, based on estimated assessed valuation available at the time of filing of this statement, is $14.72 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.

Attention to all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon projections and estimates only. The actual times of sales of said bonds and the amount sold at any given time will be governed by the needs of the District and other factors. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold, which in any event will not exceed the maximum permitted by law, will depend upon the bond market at the time of sales. The actual assessed values in the future years will depend upon the value of property within the District as determined in the assessment and the equalization process. Hence, the actual tax rates and the years in which such rates are applicable may vary from those presently estimated as above stated.

Robert P. Deegan
Palomar Community College District

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Created: January 4, 2007 09:40 PST
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