Two polls--one in the spring and one in early October--have found that more than two-thirds of respondents supported the ballot measure. But only the first poll went on to reveal the taxes it will prompt, at which point support dropped below the required level.
According to the district, property owners would pay additional taxes, fluctuating from $14 per $100,000 in assessed valuation during the first year to a peak of $68 in 2013. For the average homeowner in Los Angeles--whose property is worth about $244,500--the levy would fluctuate from $34 to $166.
Campaign consultants decided not to dwell on the cost to property owners so as not to scare voters away. It is not mentioned in their mailer--sent to 750,000 targeted voters--nor is it divulged in the sample ballot pamphlet.
The downside to dodging the cost issue is that the measure's ballot opponents, the chairman of the Libertarian Party and two teachers, were able to include on the official sample ballot--without rebuttal--their own higher estimate of the potential tax: $150 a year for the owner of a $200,000 house.