Clearly, Yuba Community College District directors will need to work on their messaging in explaining the need for a proposed $228.4 million in improvements to campuses, including Linda and Sutter County.
Voters in the district – Yuba, Sutter, Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Yolo, Butte and Placer counties – will be asked to approve a bond measure in the March 2020 elections.
According to our article a week ago, if approved by a minimum of 55 percent of voters, an ad valorem tax would be levied on taxable property to service the bond issue.
When we posted the story and linked to it from Facebook, we immediately had a few responses. A couple examples:
– Ryan Carns: “That’s a big no from me. Also, renters need to realize that this (if passed) will cause rents to increase, and will also be cause for prices to increase at commercial establishments, so just because you don’t own or pay property taxes directly ... you will be paying indirectly.”
– Jeremy Smith: “Not just no, but HELL no. I already have 4 or 5 (including Yuba College) bonds attached to my property tax bill. More, more, more, it just never ends.”
We have a feeling those feelings are representative of a good percentage of the community.
What Yuba College will have to do to get a measure passed is not just sell this bond issue and the projects it would fund; but they have to talk voters into admitting one more tax levy to the long lineup.
Douglas Houston, chancellor of YCCD, said the improvements are critical to the future of the district.
“If you talk to students, especially those that take classes at the main Yuba campus, they are enjoying the instruction currently provided but they are in aging facilities,” Houston said. “So we can meet the current student needs but we would like to do so with a higher quality.” He said they are trying to position the district for the next 50 years.
Plans for the money include increasing permanent classroom and facility capacity for both academic and job training classes. Projects range from repairing leaky roofs and deteriorating walks and ceilings to updating technology capabilities and improving infrastructure.
The projects could include expanding the Sutter County campus to include a second education building; a multi-purpose facility at the Woodland campus; updating the remaining buildings at the Linda campus that have yet to be renovated.
According to our article, “The best estimate of the average annual tax rate that would be levied based on projections of assessed valuations is $23 per $100,000 of assessed valuation, while the highest tax rate is estimated to be $25 per $100,000.”
But again, it’s not just the amount per household to pay for this particular proposal; it’s the price of an array of bond issues and special tax levies from local governments.
Houston said that a community survey about whether a new bond measure would be supported received overwhelming support. That may be. Still, they might want to start practicing the argument for why we should have another tax.