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Local school districts and governments fared well in getting voter approval of their bond issue and tax increase measures last week, according to a compilation of results by the California Local Government Finance Almanac.

Overall 65 of 85 local bond and tax measures, 76 percent, gained voter approval, according to the compilation by the almanac's founder, Michael Coleman, a veteran of local government finance – the highest rate of any recent election.

Forty-four of the measures were school district bond issues totaling $2.36 billion, according to a separate breakdown by the California Taxpayers Association, and 33 of them achieved the required 55 percent vote margin, plus one that required a two-thirds vote. The largest of the bond measures, $650 million, was sought by the Fremont Unified School District and it was one of those approved.

There were only five school district parcel tax measures offered to voters and all five achieved the two-thirds vote required. That's fewer than other recent elections, indicating that school officials elsewhere are waiting to see whether the Legislature votes to lower the vote requirement for parcel taxes.

Seven of eight city-sponsored general tax increase measures were approved but just two of five county special tax proposals, which required two-thirds votes, made it. Twelve of 17 non-school parcel taxes won approval, including all six aimed at improving library services.

The passage rate of local tax and bond measures, 76 percent, is higher than in any other recent election. It was 67 percent in June, 2012.

PHOTO: A student drinks from one of the few drinking fountains that work on the campus of Isleton Elementary School in September 2006, two months before California voters approved a $10 billion school construction bond. The Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer


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