Voters across Riverside County appeared to be in no mood Tuesday evening for property tax increases connected to school bond measures and multimillion-dollar park improvements, but seemed to favor term limits and changes in mayoral protocols.
The Riverside Community College District’s Measure A was not showing well in initial returns, with over 38,000 votes against to 28,000 in favor, and about 15% of votes tabulated.
The measure seeks approval of a bond issuance potentially totaling $715 million — the largest on ballot countywide. The sale would have to be backed by property tax increases of about $20 per $100,000 of assessed valuation annually, impacting all property owners within the district, according to election materials.
According to the district, the funds would pay for upgrades to security systems at Riverside City College, Moreno Valley College and Norco College. The borrowed money would also fund roof replacements, modifications to electrical systems and the expansion of job training facilities, officials said.
Measure B in the Beaumont Unified School District was also in trouble, with 5,200 votes counted against and about half that number in favor after 25% of votes were tabulated.
The measure is a proposed $98 million bond issue for the construction of STEM-focused classrooms, the replacement of roofs and energy improvements at 13 facilities. The taxes required to support the bond sale would amount to about $50 per $100,000 of assessed valuation annually on properties in the district.
Measure C in the Val Verde Unified School District was fairing better, gaining nearly 2,000 votes in support and 1,400 against, with 10% of returns counted. The proposal calls for the potential sale of $192 million in IOUs for the modernization of classrooms and labs. The annual property tax increment to support the measure would be roughly $115 per homeowner, according the district.
In the Jurupa Unified School District, Measure E was not mustering stout support in initial returns, with over 3,000 votes against and 2,500 in favor, after 14% of votes were recorded.
The measure would permit the sale of $192 million in bonds for classroom renovations, new safety and security systems and the potential acquisition of new sites for facilities, according to the district. The tax burden on property owners within the district would be about $42 per $100,000 of assessed valuation, officials said.
Measure G in the Coachella Valley Unified School District was in the toss-up category in early returns. It seeks authorization for a $230 million bond sale to fund construction of an elementary school in North Shore, as well as pay for repairs to rain gutters, replace ceilings and floors and totally refurbish Coachella Valley High School.
The tab would add about $56 per $100,000 in assessed valuation for property owners until the bonds are amortized, which could take 30 years.
The school bond measures all require 55% voter approval.
The Jurupa Area Recreation & Park District’s Measure H appeared bound for defeat, with votes against dwarfing votes in favor, according to returns.
The measure seeks an $860 million bond sale so more money can be allocated to “improve water and energy efficiency and plan more family-friendly activities like concerts and movies in the park,” according to election materials. The cost to impacted property owners would be about $30 per parcel annually. A two-thirds vote is required for approval.
The city of Indian Wells has two measures before voters — I and J — and each requires a simple majority for ratification.
Measure I was on a victory glide with double the number of votes in favor compared to against, and more than 40% of returns counted. The proposal would alter city council protocols so that any member designated mayor pro tem — essentially the second-highest ranking position behind mayor — would have to be active for at least a year before receiving the appointment.
Measure J was also garnering heavy support. It would impose lifetime term limits, barring any resident from serving more than two consecutive four-year terms. The existing term limits regulatory scheme specifies that no one can serve more than two back-to-back terms. However, if an individual takes a two-year hiatus, he or she can run for council again.
Supporters wrote in campaign literature that traffic, public safety and financial issues require a fresh look by new members from time to time.
“Indian Wells is blessed with an abundance of talent that we can draw on to craft solutions to these important issues,” according to campaign statement.
Opponents wrote that “Government should not control in any way the public’s right to choose who represents them.”