Proposition 13 is the only California proposition on the March ballot. It aims to provide $9 billion in bond money for K-12 schools and $2 billion each to community colleges, the California State Universities (CSU) system, and the University of California (UC) system — and there is a chance the proposition could indirectly result in raising property taxes.
The money will be allocated for facility repairs and modifications.
More than half of Cal Poly’s facilities are more than 50 years old. If passed, the bond money from Proposition 13 could be used to modify the more run-down infrastructure, according to political science professor Mathew Moore.
The official CSU website endorses the proposition, claiming that “updating our learning environments and technology and providing safer, healthier facilities will ensure those extraordinary students have the state-of-the-art infrastructure they need to thrive.”
The bill has garnered support from both Democrats and Republicans in California, including local Republican assemblyman Jordan Cunningham.
“Education facilities funding is a bipartisan issue that I am proud to support, which is why I worked across the aisle to coauthor this school bond,” Cunningham wrote in an email to Mustang News. “We need to invest in modern technical training facilities so high school graduates get the training they need to join the trades and enter the middle class.”
However, there is opposition from both parties as well.
The San Luis Obispo County Republican party voiced their outward concern over the proposition on their official website. There is concern that the proposition would result in increased property taxes, as school districts would borrow money for the repairs and may struggle paying the money back. With interest, the total cost of the bonds could amount to $15 billion to $26 billion.
However, the feared potential property tax increase requires a 55 percent voter approval in the given voting district before that could actually happen, Moore said.
“Projects like this are often thought to pay for themselves,” Moore said. “Building schools, in which students will learn better … will actually result in a better educated population and ultimately higher tax revenue.”
Though Moore said he does not know if Proposition 13 will end up actually “paying for itself,” he said this is the common perspective of its proponents.
For more information on Proposition 13, see the state’s website.