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ABCUSD MEASURE BB: IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

 

BY MIKE SIMFENDERFER
58th Assembly District Candidate

We are generally governed best when governed locally.

The ABCUSD’s Measure BB reflected a lengthy period of input by so many who live and work in the district. The 1997 bond measure experience provided a road map of what not to do. The defeat of the 2014 bond measure provided this same guidance. Incompetent leaders never learn. Competent leaders learn then adapt, improvise and overcome. This school district and the city leadership from Cerritos, Artesia and Lakewood defines competence and commitment. There are disagreements. There are personality clashes. That is normal. When we look at the big picture we should be grateful for what we have.

The measure indicated the cost is approximately $50 per $100,000 assessed with the average assessment of about $300,000 or $150 a year. Here is how fortunate a home owner is in Cerritos, Artesia, and Lakewood.

Cerritos is located in tax rate area 2011; Lakewood in tax rate area 1996; and Artesia in tax rate area 1972; all have a property tax base of only 1.08%. Meanwhile, a home in Montebello, which is in tax rate area 6330, has a property tax base of 1.39%

A $300,000 assessment with a 1.08% property tax base is $3,240 a year while in Montebello it is $4,170 a year due to its property tax base of 1.39%.

Bottom line, the average home owner in the ABCUSD pays $930 a year less when compared to the same in Montebello. This is proof our leaders in Cerritos, Artesia and Lakewood did a good job the past several years. 

They have earned the right to ask the voters to pass Measure BB.

The Great Recession postponed numerous repairs and upgrades needed. We are playing catch up and this has occurred/is occurring at many school districts. Starving our schools financially is not responsible and would ultimately have a negative influence upon home prices over time. People purchase homes in the ABC Unified School District because the schools are great. Measure BB will help ensure the greatness continues and exceptionalism is the future.

If we don’t support our schools now, when will we? We can “Monday morning quarterback” any measure to death repeatedly. Construction costs only increase. Deterioration continues.

We should remember the measure asks for “up to” $258 million. If we can find alternate funding for some projects, we reduce the amount needed from the bonds. Approximately 10% of the funds go for strengthening our schools for safety. The district will not use capital appreciation bonds. Lastly, the district will follow the Orange County Tax Association guidelines.

Our leaders did their jobs over the years. They controlled costs as reflected by the property tax base throughout the district. Let’s do our job and invest now in the future of our kids by supporting Measure BB.

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