Voters in the east county of San Diego will be seeing Proposition V on their ballots. Proposition V is a $398 million bond measure aimed at renovating infrastructure and technology of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (GCCCD).
The GCCCD conducted a two-year assessment and planning process which came out of their Educational Master Plan. Within that plan was a Facilities Master Plan which identified over $600 million in facility repair and renovation. The official Proposition V handout states:
Classrooms and labs built decades before the digital age need to be retrofitted and significant infrastructure upgrades, including wiring and cabling, are necessary to accommodate computers, audiovisual equipment and other “smart classroom” components.
The funding for Proposition V comes from property taxes. For every $100,000 of assessed property value, $16.94 will be added to its property tax. The average person affected by the tax increase will see a $40 increase in property taxes per year.
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) endorsed Proposition V. Much like loans, bonds accumulate interest. Projections put the bond at a 2.15-to-1 debt service ratio, coming out to $855 million in total cost according to the SDCTA. The SDCTA provided a detailed analysis and charted expenditures for each campus.
The SDCTA would not be likely to endorse bond measures without effective taxpayer safeguards. Proposition V outlines these provisions to ensure money is spent accordingly:
1) By law, no funds from Proposition V will be spent for administrators’ salaries. 2) A citizens oversight committee will ensure funds are spent as promised. 3) Annual independent financial and performance audits.
Grossmont College was built in 1961 and still uses 14 of its original buildings. Cuyamaca College was built in 1978 and also uses several original buildings which have not had major repair or maintenance. The GCCCD enrolls around 30,000 students every year and has served over 600,000 students since 1961.
Proposition V needs 55-percent of the vote in order to pass. The 230,000 voters in Spring Valley, Santee, El Cajon, Lemon Grove, and La Mesa will provide input for Proposition V on November 6.