BY WARREN HORTON
The Chaparral published a story on Oct. 10, 2016, regarding Bond Measure CC and how it would benefit COD and the community. During the interview with COD President Joel Kinnamon, information was provided regarding the measure. After the issue published, students brought up some additional questions.
- How long will the tax last?
- What rate would taxpayers have to pay?
- Community College tuition quadrupled from 2002 to the summer of 2012, $11 to $46 per unit. If tuition fees continue to rise to the level of Cal-State fees, will students prefer to enroll directly into a four-year educational facility instead of a two-year facility? If so, will any new construction be wasted?
- What exactly does $577.86 million pay for?
- In 2004, Bond Measure B passed authorizing $346 million for COD. What did it pay for and is that money exhausted?
- Why would a fixed income retiree, or low-income person want to approve this measure?
- Will Measure CC funds be used to free up general funds in order to give raises to staff, faculty, and administrative personnel?
- In 2012, Prop 30 authorized a temporary tax rate change. How much income does COD earn from that?
- If Prop 55 passes, will these funds be in addition to Bond Measure CC?
- What are university centers?
In order to provide a balanced story with views from both sides, it appeared that it would not be possible without a response from Dr. Kinnamon. Kinnamon was unavailable for comment. There were some questions, however, that could be answered without Dr. Kinnamon’s input. The Chaparral editorial staff researched these questions and provided the answers below:
In regards to the tax rate:
The tax rate of Bond Measure CC is 1.95 cents per $100 assessed home value. This translates to $19.50 per each $100,000 of home value, according to the proposition displayed on the COD website at: http://www.collegeofthedesert.edu/community/CODPlan/Documents/CODResolution.pdf.
According to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office website, the tuition fee per unit was $0 prior to 1984, then the fees began. It was generally thought the tuition fees doubled every 10 years. But from 2002, to the summer of 2012, tuition jumped from $11 per unit to $46 per unit.
In regards to what $577.85 million Bond Measure CC will pay for:
“For College of the Desert to modernize career training facilities for nursing, public safety, science, technology, engineering and other in-demand jobs that prepare students for success in college/careers; repair/construct/acquire classrooms, facilities, sites and equipment throughout Coachella Valley…,” according to Bond Measure CC statement.
In regards to what $346 million Bond Measure B paid for:
“To train local residents for jobs, prepare students for four-year colleges, accommodate increasing student enrollment at College of the Desert by: Expanding nursing/police/fire-fighting training facilities; Repairing sewer systems, leaky roofs, decaying walls, plumbing, electrical systems; Upgrading/adding classrooms for computer technology; Repairing, acquiring, constructing, equipping buildings, sites, classrooms,” according to Bond Measure B statement.
In regards to why would a fixed income retiree, or low-income person want to approve this measure? How would the community benefit?
“College of the Desert generates the local workforce. 75 percent of COD graduates stay or return to live and work in the community. College of the Desert operations provide over $302 million impact each year. COD Alumni contribute over $243 million each year to the local economy,” according to COD website.
In regards to 2012 Proposition 30: Prop 30 authorized a temporary
tax rate change. How much income does COD earn from that ?
Proposition 30 was passed by California voters authorizing a “temporary”
tax rate change with funds going to K-12 and community colleges. In 2012, Governor Brown pitched Proposition 30 as “temporary”, according to the Mercury News. Proposition 30, since 2012, has provided an estimated $31.2 billion, according to California Controller Betty T. Yee’s webpage: http://trackprop30.ca.gov/. There are a reported 113 community colleges in 72 college districts in California, according to Wikipedia. The funds are not clear as to how Proposition 30 is distributed, but it is possible that they are distributed evenly within each community college. According to the California Department of Education, these are the amounts raised for community colleges: $804.54 million in 2013, $776.70 million in 2014, and $958.34 million in 2015. That could account for approximately $22.46 million each year for COD alone.
In regards to Proposition 55:
Proposition 55 will extend the Proposition 30 tax on the rich to an estimated date of 2030. Since Proposition 55 would be an extension of a current tax until 2030, or 14 years, that amounts to $314.56 million, or 54 percent of Bond Measure CC.
All of the questions listed above could not be commented on at this time, but voters should always consider what any tax issue is for and vote accordingly. Even if COD does not obtain Bond Measure CC funds, there is still Bond Measure B, and Proposition 30 & 55 as discussed above.
In the story above, and in regards to Proposition 30, it was originally misstated that Proposition 30 was a “temporary 1/2 cent sales tax increase” when it should have read that is was a “temporary tax rate change”.