Impartial Analysis of Measure R

Jason Heath, County Counsel
By: Ruby Márquez, Assistant County Counsel

Under the California Constitution, school districts may issue bonds if approved by at least 55 percent of voters within the boundaries of that district. These bonds are sold to the public and constitute a debt of the district. They are repaid by the levy of an ad valorem tax, which is calculated based on the current assessed value of each property. 

The Board of Trustees of the Cabrillo Community College District (“the District”) proposes the sale of bonds in the amount not to exceed $274,100,000. The District anticipates that these bonds would generate approximately $17,000,000 million annually.

The boundaries of the Cabrillo Community College District extend across three county lines: San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Monterey Counties.

As limited by law, the funds from the sale of these bonds shall only be used for specific purposes related to school site facilities, buildings, and classrooms. The law does not allow these bond funds to be used for teacher and administrator salaries or other operational expenses.

The District has submitted a Bond Project List within the full body of the measure. The types of projects funded may include, but are not limited to:

  • Upgrading career and vocational classrooms;
  • Updating science, technology, engineering, and math labs;
  • Providing facilities for student support services, tutoring, and counseling;
  • Replacing outdated electrical wiring and sewer lines;
  • Improving accessibility to classrooms for persons with disabilities;
  • Improving energy and water efficiency through the campus; and/or
  • Upgrading college safety and security systems, such as fire alarms and cameras.

As required by law, the District must follow certain accountability provisions to oversee the funds collected and expended, including the establishment of an independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee and the annual completion of Performance and Financial Audits.

At the time of filing, the School District has provided the best estimate of the highest tax rate to be levied at approximately $18.85 per $100,000 of assessed property value per year. It is anticipated that the average annual tax would be collected through fiscal year 2052-53.

Measure R was placed on the ballot by the District.

A “yes” vote on Measure R is a vote to authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $274,100,000 to be financed by the levy of ad valorem taxes on property in the District.

A “no” vote on Measure R is a vote against the issuance of the proposed bonds.