Screw the People - Raise the Taxes
Based on calculations of the originally proposed $3.85 billion bond, the bond would raise the current property tax bill of a home with an assessed value of $500,000 from about $425 to about $710 in 2009, about the average annual premium for homeowners insurance.
District voters have already approved three construction bonds since 1997 totaling $9.6 billion: $3.87 billion in 2004, $3.35 billion in 2002 and $2.4 billion in 1997.
The school portion of the property tax in Los Angeles is greater than in any other California city, said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association.
"The cumulative total of this tax liability I would characterize as oppressive," he said.
Romer said an aggressive advertising campaign for the bond measure would begin immediately. For each of the past bond efforts, district officials said, campaign organizers raised and spent about $2 million to persuade voters to accept the higher taxes in exchange for new schools. To pass, bond measures require 55% voter approval. The latest proposal would increase taxes an average of $26.71 per $100,000 of assessed property value. The previous three school construction bond issues have together raised taxes about $85 for every $100,000 of assessed property value. Although board members agreed on the need to win approval for a fourth bond measure, some had repeatedly expressed concerns about the timing and questioned why the district needed a fourth infusion of cash so quickly.
"I think we're going to have a very difficult fight passing this bond," Lansing said. "I just don't think that the voters of L.A. are going to pass (both) at the same time."
This year, Los Angeles property owners will pay $85.12 per $100,000 of assessed valuation annually to finance the district's first three bonds. Taxes will top out in 2012 at $140.23 per $100,000 of assessed value, according to district figures.
If it's passed on Nov. 8, Romer's staff said a new bond would likely add an average of $26.71 per $100,000 each year over the course of the 25-year bonds.