Ballot Recommendations for June 5, 2018 Statewide Primary Election
Read our recommendations on the June 5 ballot measures and VOTE with the Ventura County Taxpayers Association!
VOTE NO ON PROP 68 – CALIFORNIANS FOR CLEAN WATER AND SAFE PARKS
Why we’re against it: Proposition 68 would allow the state to borrow $4 billion by selling general obligation bonds to investors, then repaying the debt with interest. The state Legislative Analyst estimates that the interest cost will total $3.8 billion, and the cost to taxpayers will be $200 million per year for 40 years. The money would be used for parks, natural resource protection programs, climate adaptation, water quality and flood protection.
VCTA is not opposed to all bonds, but we think projects funded with bond dollars should last at least as long as the debt obligation, typically 40 years. Otherwise your kids will spend their lives paying off the debt for something that is long gone.
California’s debt service ratio – the amount of money we spend out of our General Fund solely to pay off bond debt each year – is slightly over five percent. That’s five percent of funds not supporting our colleges, our prisons, pensions or any other priorities.
There is not a good track record regarding how previous bond dollars have been spent. In 2006, voters approved Proposition 84, a $5.4 billion bond of which $400 million went to fund 126 park projects, predominately in low-income communities. According to a recent analysis done by the California Natural Resources Agency, 42 projects remain in progress 12 years after the bond was approved. VCTA believes bond money should be spent in a timely manner and fund projects that last the length of the bond.
VOTE NO ON PROP 69 – MOTOR VEHICLE FEES AND TAXES
Why we’re against it: Proposition 69 was placed on the ballot the same day the SB 1 gas and car tax increase was approved in 2017. Supporters want you to believe that it 100% guarantees that the gas and car taxes can only be spent on repairing and maintaining roads. But the measure has loopholes that can be easily exploited. It is fake reform.
• Proposition 69 exempts all the new gas and car tax revenue from applying against the Gann Spending Limit. The more taxes we exempt out of the limit, the more worthless it becomes as a method to control spending.
• If any future state General Obligation transportation bonds are approved by voters, under Proposition 69 they can be paid for with money from the car tax out of SB 1. Voters have long said that they want gas and car tax money to go toward repairing and maintaining our roads, not paying off bond debt.
Currently, a billion dollars a year worth of truck weight fees (fees truckers pay because they tear up our roads) are being diverted to pay off bond debt, and some of the money is even going into California’s General Fund. It’s not being used to repair and maintain roads. Proposition 69 could have easily altered this, but does not.
VOTE YES ON PROP 72 – PROPERTY TAXATION: NEW CONSTRUCTION: RAIN WATER CAPTURE SYSTEM
Why we’re for it: Proposition 72 would create a property-tax exemption for rainwater-capture systems, allowing property owners to purchase and install rain barrels and other water-capture solutions without facing higher property taxes for that improvement to their property. This is similar to existing exemptions for seismic retrofit and solar energy installations.