Santa Clara Unified Prepping for Another Bond Measure
By Robert Haugh
Santa Clara Unified School District may put a bond measure on the 2018 ballot funded by a parcel tax on Santa Clara home owners. It’ll be the third bond measure in the last eight years for the District. The 2018 bond could be asking for as much as $875 million. The District issued a $419 million bond in 2014 and $81.1 million in 2010. Previously, they issued $315 million in 2004.
The School Board will have discussion on going to the ballot at their Oct. 12 meeting.
Earlier this year, the District hired Clifford Moss, a political consulting firm to study the potential options for another bond measure in 2018. Moss has ties to SCUSD board president Andy Ratermann. Clifford Moss was also hired by the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce PAC, as Ratermann who sits on the PAC board told us: “to support business interests”. Sources have suggested that the PAC hired Clifford Moss to help research candidates for the November 2018 Santa Clara city elections, including finding possible challengers to incumbents which would complicate next year’s campaign for a bond measure.
On Sept. 28, Timothy McLarney of True North Research Inc and Tom Clifford of Clifford Moss presented a voter survey to the School Board.
They concluded that a measure is winnable and voters would support a tax of $49-$54 for each $100,000 of a home’s assessed value. So, a million dollar home would pay an increase of $490-$540 per year. That’s not stated in the ballot label the survey tested. But it’s not required to be. Voters have to find out for themselves.
We’re hearing some grumbling in the community about the number of times that the District has asked voters for a funds through bond measures (i.e., parcel taxes). In fact, in the voter survey, that was the strongest negative argument against the measure, with over 64 percent of voters finding the argument convincing. We’ll keep our eye on the School Board’s decision and the details about the bond measure and parcel tax.