Bonds Put Your Money on the Line
California's November 7, 2006 ballot is loaded with proposed issues of new bonds. Each bond issue is designated for a noble purpose, but the voter has the job of deciding:
- Can we afford to issue all these bonds?
- How important is each bond compared to the other ones?
- How much of our tax money do we want to use repaying bonds, which typically cost twice the sticker price when you add in the interest paid over decades to banks?
In Oakland, the ballot will have all the California bond proposals plus Measure N, a $148 million bond, two-thirds of that for a palace main library and only crumbs for the neighborhood libraries.
The statewide bonds (and one new regressive parcel tax) on the ballot are these:
Proposition 1B: A $19.9-billion bond issue for transportation and safety projects. It would cost about $38.9 billion over 30 years, counting interest.
Proposition 1C: A $2.8-billion bond issue to provide housing and emergency shelters. The bond would cost an average of $204 million per year over its 30-year life.
Proposition 1D: A $10.4-billion bond to relieve public school crowding and repair old schools. The bond would cost the state $20.3 billion in principal and interest.
Proposition 1E: A $4.1-billion bond to rebuild and repair flood control structures. It would cost $8 billion over 30 years.
Proposition 84: A $5.4-billion bond to pay for water, flood control, park and conservation projects. It would cost $10.5 billion over 30 years.
Proposition 88: Imposes a $50 tax on each property parcel to increase funding for schools serving kindergarten through 12th grade.
(Summaries from Los Angeles Times, Sept. 8, 2006)
Oakland's 400,000 residents are a little over one percent of the state's population. Person for person, therefore, Measure N for a palace library is:
- Five times larger than the housing bond (Prop. 1C)
- Three times larger than the levee and flood bond (Prop. 1E)
- 50 percent larger than the school bond (Prop. 1D)
The lead campaigner for Measure N (councilmember Quan) and City Hall insiders want an architectural showpiece for a main library. They have a bad case of palace envy. The above comparisons show how expensive a tab they want to charge us.
...or build this?
Which is more important to you – flood control or a palace library? Which is more important to you – schools or a palace library? If your answers are the same as ours, these are more reasons to Vote No on Measure N.
– Sept. 8, 2006