CalChamber Supported Bill Helps Voters, Clarifies Local Bond Measures

SupportCalifornians regularly face local ballot measures proposing general obligation bonds to pay for parks, schools, and other local facilities—paid for by increasing local property taxes. Oftentimes, these measures can obscure the actual cost to voters of these complex proposals.

A California Chamber of Commerce-supported bill would help improve voter understanding of these local measures.

SB 798 (Glazer; D-Contra Costa) makes local bond measures easier to understand for voters by simplifying the ballot description of the amount of new taxes a property owner would pay.

Under current law, when submitting a measure for voter approval for bonds, local governments must provide estimates of the tax rates required to fund the bonds expressed as the rate per $100 of assessed valuation on all property to be taxed.

SB 798 would instead require that the estimated tax rate in the statement be expressed as the rate per $100,000 of assessed valuation.

Having this information expressed as the rate per $100,000 as opposed to per $100 will give a more accurate picture of the true impact on constituents—and make it easier for property owners to understand the potential tax increase on their own properties.

As voter guides have expanded to well over 100 pages in some instances, clearly stating this information will help to inform voters of the true impact of these bond proposals.

SB 798 awaits action by the entire Assembly when legislators return from their summer recess.

Ben Golombek
Ben Golombek joined the California Chamber of Commerce on January 17, 2022 as executive vice president and chief of staff for policy. In this role, Golombek heads the CalChamber policy staff, providing strategic oversight and management of CalChamber’s legislative and regulatory priorities. Most recently, Golombek served as the West Region vice president for public affairs for AT&T. He previously served as chief of staff to three members of the California State Assembly and worked at Los Angeles City Hall as deputy city controller, communications director for a city councilmember and deputy press secretary for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Golombek graduated from Northwestern University, has an M.B.A. from the University of California, Davis, and completed the prestigious Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs. See full bio