If municipal history is any indicator, bond supporters will need all the help they can get. Voters have rejected parcel-tax measures for the Beverly Hills Unified School District three times in the last six years, although the school district came close to victory with 66.61% of the vote in 1990 and 63.3% in 1991. A two-thirds approval or 66.67% of votes is required to impose such a tax.
If approved, the bond would be payable by property owners based on assessed property value over a 35-year period beginning in 1995. The median cost for homeowners would be about $90 a year and is tax deductible.
Both sides agree that Beverly Hills schools have fallen into disrepair and schoolchildren have to endure leaky roofs, moldy carpets, cracked walls, 1929-era boilers and falling ceiling tiles. What they can't agree on is how to pay for repairs given the absence of state funding help.
Supporters argued before the council that residents must take the initiative and stop the decline by authorizing a bond earmarked only for school repairs.