At a community forum on Thursday, the South San Francisco school board heard a presentation on proposed legislation that threatens the viability of the Measure J bond program.
Tony Hsieh of Keygent, the project's management consultant, explained that a San Diego County treasurer has proposed state legislation that would limit California school bond financing to 25 years. This limitation would throw a wrench in SSFUSD's Measure J cash flow plan, which depends on 40-year bond terms.
Hsieh said that the new legislation would put the district $69 million in the red by the 2016-2017 school year, with the current Measure J bond program.
"This would be a real problem," Hsieh said at the community forum.
If the 25-year bond limit is implemented, Hsieh said that one solution to South City's problem would be to raise the Measure J tax rate. If the rate were raised to $51 per $100,000 of assessed property value, which is an $18 jump from the current voter-approved rate of $33 per year, the cash flow needs would be met.
School board Vice President Phil Weise said that he would want to request input from voters before increasing that tax rate, if the district decided it needed to take that step.
Weise also urged community members to tell legislators that they do not support this legislation. The vice president said it was unfair to school districts, which are the only agencies targeted by the proposed law.
Backers of the legislation will introduce it in the first week of state legislative session in December.
See the attached presentation for more details on the cash flow plan. Hsieh said that at this point in the process, the district has accessed $63 million of the $162 million approved by voters in Nov. 2010.