Editorial: No on Measure G


Trinity Wicklund

A sign locally placed in Linden

Jacob Esplin, Journalism Vice-President

The Bond Measure G seems to be a good idea, if you only listen to the information openly provided by the Linden Unified School District. They load the information with positive phrases like upgrade or renovate, and condemn the school’s current state, claiming that the school has out-dated classrooms and leaky roofs. But they do not openly discuss that the tax is inherently unfair, or that the school district is economically irresponsible. This bond is not what it appears. 

First, there is a difference between a tax and a bond. A tax is way to raise money, usually slower and less direct than a bond, by directly implementing a cost on something like property ownership or sales. A bond is debt. A bond is where a government is essentially selling IOU’s on the stock market. This allows a government entity to get money instantly, which is not an ingredient to financial success. Measure G is a bond tied to a tax increase. The $60 per $100,000 of assessed value is a tax increase that will pay off the bonds when they become due. The total amount of money that the bonds would raise is $31,200,000 and it will cost approximately $71,933,842 to pay off the bonds. There is an enormous disconnect in the public mind that the tax will provide the $31 million. This is not the case, it is the tax issued over many years that will pay off the school debt.

For many of us, the bond seems to be a small issue. It is only 60 dollars per 100,000 dollars of assessed property, which means that most of us (or our parents) will only be paying a couple hundred dollars in total. But there is no reason that a school bond should be based on property value. For example, a family with 5 kids that pays $200 is getting 5 times more out of the bond, for much less money, than the landowner who pays $1,200 and only has one child. It is worse for the elderly, who have no children left in school, and receive no benefit from the bond. It still does not appear that bad, but this bond is not what it appears. It will be levied until 2052 to 2053. There are too few citizens in Linden to provide almost 72 million dollars in only a few years. While property taxes are too big of an institution to change, we can avoid implementing value based bonds in Linden.

The school already receives large amounts of money from the government for every child that comes to school. This money keeps the school running, and it comes from taxpayers. The school claims that the money allotted to it does not provide the funding for major renovation and construction. This bond is also to get rid of old payments that take away $400,000 annually. Borrowing to pay off debts is essentially what they are doing. Many of the parts of Measure G are estimated, and it is possible that we end up in more debt than estimated due to rising interest rates or other market changes.

Finally, there is no way for an ordinary citizen to direct the flow of these funds to what they want to change. It is possible that some would rather have the performing arts expanded in Linden than have the football stadium updated. Unfortunately, there is no way to vote on exactly what will be done with the money, only a yes or a no on the measure. There is not even enough money to cover the estimates on what they claim is a critical concern.

Measure G is very misleading. It is full of estimates, and appears to be a solution to our problems with school that can only be solved by following budgets and having patience. Do not support a measure that authorizes borrowing, raises taxes, and doesn’t even listen to what the community might want.