Too expensive a deal

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It’s time to review the 2008 property tax bill you just received to see what you are currently paying on past bonds and parcel taxes for the SMMUSD and SM Community College each year.

Community College bonds: .047808% or $478 per million dollars of assessed property value.

SMMUSD bonds: .046265% or $462 per million dollars of assessed property value.

Direct assessments (parcel tax): $346 per legal parcel.

Santa Monica City College is now asking for another $295 million (Prop AA). I assume the current $478 million community college assessment is for the $160 million SM Community College bond we passed in 2002. This bond was for the replacement and renovation of main campus buildings at SM Community College. This is most likely a thirty-year bond.

What will an additional $295 million bond cost? This is almost twice as large as the existing bond. Considering we are in possibly the worst and most expensive muni bond environment in recent history, we will pay dearly for these. If current homes are sold for less or re-assessed downward, the rate we pay on existing bonds could increase substantially next year. I believe seniors are not exempted from bond assessments, only parcel taxes. How much will renters and businesses pay? Is this bond issue truly necessary now?

I believe the $2.5 million dollar check just presented to Malibu’s City Council from the SM College Board was the money promised from the 2002 bond for a Malibu “satellite” campus. Nice political move! If Malibu pays around 32% of the total 2002 bond, we’re paying over $50 million for that $2.5 million. We will pay over $90 million on a $295 million bond, if it passes. Malibu could have a local campus and reduce PCH and SM traffic for that money.

Get honest answers before you vote for another school bond. Remember, only 55% approval is needed to pass Prop AA. Great schools should not cost this much. I’m voting “no” on AA.

Janet Yerby