While three multi-billion-dollar tax measures on the November ballot are getting much media attention, dozens of local governments and school districts are also asking voters to issue bonds and raise taxes or fees, according to a report compiled for the League of California Cities.
Michael Coleman, a fiscal policy advisor for the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers and the League of California Cities, wrote the report, which covers more than 350 local measures, including 237 seeking bonds, taxes or fees, nearly half of which are school bond issues that total more than $14 billion. Three of the measures are initiatives while the rest were placed on the ballot by the affected agencies.
There are also 25 school parcel tax measures, 34 city or county sales tax increases and 23 non-school parcel taxes. The local tax increases placed before voters this year reflect widespread fiscal angst in local governments. Three California cities have already filed for bankruptcy this year and a number of others have declared financial emergencies.