Bond Proposals on Ballot

I have quite a few bond proposals on my November 4th ballot. I voted (by mail) for one measure for public transportation, another for public schools and against the others. What’s interesting to me is that the proposals all say there is no tax increase because the bond repayments will be paid out of the general fund. I don’t know. It’s like we can get the purported benefits for free.

Do you have bond proposals on your ballot? How will you vote on them?

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  1. Wm Tanksley says

    My basic rule is to vote against all bonds, given my state’s finances (I can tell I’m in the same state as you, although a different county, since I don’t have an education bond); I modify that rule if the bond is part of a program that’s self-financing.

    So I voted a hard NO on the public transportation (not only is it a huge bond that’ll cost far more than the estimate due to the credit crunch, it’s for a project that’ll come in VERY late and will be managed at a loss); no to borrowing so we can give to people who want to buy fancy cars; and no to the hospital bond. I voted yes for the veteran’s loan bond, since it’s actually paid back by the vets who get the loan assistance.

  2. Matthew says

    On my ballot there are 6 proposed bond issues (safety and health, streets and highways, water, refuse collection, sanitary sewers, and recreation and parks). They total about 1.6B and are estimated to cost $.849 per $100K of home valuation(I’m not sure how/when this estimate was developed but judging from the previous post I wouldn’t be surprised if it is low). I voted for all issues in a large part due to the fact that I am a water/waste water consultant and my company’s livelihood is highly dependent on tax revenue.

  3. Chuck says

    Knowing they will pass handily anyway, I usually vote against them – except for those relating to public transportation.

  4. Harry Sit says

    Chuck – When you say “Knowing they will pass handily anyway” do you think it’s because most voters think a bond issue is not a tax increase? Money is fungible. If more tax revenue goes toward bond interest, there is less money for other services, then they’ll have to increase tax to cover those other services or cut the public services.

  5. Brad says

    Agree with tanksley. When your state government asks for $7B (with a B) to continue operations as normal, you have to make the assumption that its unhealthy. Unhealthy organizations do not benefit from additional debt. Improve the year over year operations, get healthy and then acquire debt at favorable pricing. Its unbelievably disingenuous to try and convince the public that there will be no cost to these propositions (ie. no tax increase).

    I’m very displeased that 1A passed.

  6. Jim says

    I voted against all the bond measures on my ballot (I’m in CA). A couple passed (one, high speed rail, was particularly ridiculous)

    It is completely ingenious to sell these things as not having a tax impact. Where do people suppose the money comes from? bondholders will need to be paid back, WITH INTEREST. I was totally shocked to see the description in the voter pamphlet say ‘no tax impact’ but not explain how the thing would be paid back.

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