Vote “No” on Prop 55 this March!

I’m all for providing funds to build more schools. However, Proposition 55 on the March 2, 2004 ballot is the fiscally irresponsible way to do it.

Proposition 55 will give California $12.3 billion to build new and renovate old schools. The money will come from a bond (loan) that will be repaid through the General Budget. However, at a 5.25% variable interest rate over 30 years, it’s going to cost Californians $12.4 billion in interest when the bond is repaid. In other words, the $12 billion we would use to construct schools is going to cost us $25 billion. There’s a better way.

In 2003, California allocated $3.5 billion to school construction. That is only 3.5% of our state’s $101.2 billion budget. Instead of borrowing $12 billion that’s going to cost us twice as much, we should mandate 5% of the state’s budget over the next three years towards school construction. That would provide more than Prop 55 and cost taxpayers $10 billion less. Or, we can keep the 3.5% and hold that rate for the next four years.

Prop 55 is fiscally irresponsible when there are more efficient alternatives.

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