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March 2008
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Bellevue School District No. 405, Proposition No 1

There is an election today on a local school funding proposition in Bellevue, Wa where I live. Basically to approve issuing a bunch of bonds to pay for school improvements and authorizing increases in property taxes to pay for it.

The Board of Directors of Bellevue School District No. 405 adopted Resolution No. 07-21 concerning this proposition to continue to make long-term improvements in schools and facilities. To construct, equip, and install capital improvements to the District’s educational facilities and make other necessary capital improvements as part of the Building for the Future Program, the Bellevue School District No. 405 shall issue $545,000,000 of general obligation bonds maturing within a maximum of 20 years, and levy excess property taxes annually to repay the bonds, as provided in Resolution No. 07-21. Should this proposition be: APPROVED or REJECTED

I am voting “Rejected” for several reasons:

  • I would be approving a tax that others would have to pay, but I would not (since at the moment I do not own property that would be taxed by this). This seems fundamentally wrong.
  • It is building up debt via bonds rather than just paying for what they want to do directly. I don’t like debt. This debt would be in bonds with up to a 20 year maturity. So in addition to what I mentioned in my first bullet, I’d also be imposing a tax on future people for the next 20 years, people who didn’t even get a chance to voice an opinion on this. That also seems wrong.
  • I would not directly benefit from the funds being spent… at least not at the moment since we send Amy to private school. We might benefit in the future, but do not today. At least not directly, although of course there is the general benefit of a better educated populace, but I think that is outweighed by the first two points.

And that be that. I spent a grand total of 30 seconds thinking about it. Maybe if I had spent longer or researched more I would have done something else. I felt bad about not having done more research as soon as I filled in the little bubble on the mail-in ballot. But I’d already filled in the bubble. So it is going in the mail now.

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