Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Special District

Miracosta Community College District
Measure MM Bond Measure - 55% Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


104,493 votes yes (62.39%)

62,992 votes no (37.61%)

To upgrade classrooms and career training facilities for science, healthcare, technology, advanced manufacturing, other growing local industries, provide job training/placement to Navy/ Marines/ other veterans, improve access to affordable higher education to local students, improve disabled access, repair, construct, acquire classrooms, facilities, sites/equipment, shall MiraCosta Community College District issue $455,000,000 in bonds, at legal rates, subject to local control, requiring annual audits, and independent citizen oversight?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

A “YES” vote is a vote in favor of authorizing the District to issue and sell $455,000,000 in general obligation bonds. 

NO vote means

A “NO” vote is a vote against authorizing the District to issue and sell $455,000,000 in general obligation bonds. 


San Diego County Counsel

This measure was placed on the ballot by the governing board of the MiraCosta Community College District (“District”). 

Impartial analysis / Proposal

This measure, if approved by 55% of the votes cast on the measure, will authorize the District to issue and sell $455,000,000 in general obligation bonds. The sale of these bonds by the District is for the purpose of raising money for the District, and represents a debt of the District. In exchange for the money received from the bond holders, the District promises to pay the holders an amount of interest for a certain period of time, and to repay the bonds on the expiration date.

Voter approval of this measure will also authorize an annual tax to be levied upon the taxable property within the District. The purpose of this tax is to generate sufficient revenue to pay interest on the bonds as it becomes due and to provide a fund for payment of the principal on or before maturity.

Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by this measure may be used by the District for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or replacement of community college facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of community college facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for community college facilities.

The interest rate on any bond, which is established at the time of bond issuance, could not exceed 12% per annum. The final maturity date of any bond could be no later than 40 years after the date the bonds are issued as determined by the District.

The tax authorized by this measure is consistent with the requirements of the California Constitution. The California Constitution permits property taxes, above the standard one percent (1%) limitation, to be levied upon real property to pay the interest and redemption charges on any bonded indebtedness for, among other things, the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, when approved by 55% of the voters if:

(1) the proceeds from the sale of the bonds are used only for the purposes specified,
(2) the District, by evaluating safety, class size reduction, and information technology needs, has approved a list of specific projects to be funded,
(3) the District will conduct an annual, independent performance audit, and
(4) the District will conduct an annual, independent financial audit.

If a bond measure is approved, state law requires the District to establish an independent citizens’ oversight committee. The District has made this ballot measure subject to these requirements.

Approval of this measure does not guarantee that the proposed projects in the District that are the subject of these bonds will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by this measure. 

Tax rate

Superintendent President, MiraCosta Community College District

An election will be held in the MiraCosta Community College District (the “District”) on November 8, 2016, for the purpose of submitting to the electors of the District the question of issuing up to $455,000,000 in principal amount of General Obligation Bonds. If such bonds are authorized and sold, the principal thereof and interest thereon will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. The following information regarding tax rates is given to comply with Section 9401 of the California Elections Code. Such information is based upon the best estimates and projections presently available from official sources, upon experience within the District, and other demonstrable factors.

Based upon the foregoing and projections of the District’s assessed valuation, and assuming the entire debt service will be paid through property taxation:

1. The best estimate of the tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund the bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the first series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is $0.01499 per $100 of assessed valuation (or $14.99 per $100,000 of assessed valuation for fiscal year 2017/18.

2. The best estimate of the tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund the bond issue during the first fiscal year after the sale of the last series of bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of the filing of this statement, is $0.01499 per $100 of assessed valuation (or $14.99 per $100,000 of assessed valuation) for fiscal year 2024/25.

3. The best estimate of the highest tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund the bond issue, and an estimate of the years in which that rate will apply, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of the filing of this statement, is $0.01499 per $100 of assessed valuation (or $14.99 per $100,000 of assessed valuation), which is projected to be the same in every fiscal year that the bonds remain outstanding. 

4. The best estimate of the total debt service, including the principal and interest, that would be required to be repaid if all the bonds are issued and sold is approximately $777,089,013.

Voters should note that estimated tax rate is based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the County’s official tax rolls, no on the property’s market value. In addition, taxpayers eligible for a property tax exemption, such as the homeowner’s exemption, will be taxed at a lower effective tax rate than described above. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills and tax advisors to determine their property’s assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions.

Attention to all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon projections and estimates only, which are not binding upon the District. The actual timing of bond sales and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be governed by the needs of the District, the state of the bond market, and other factors. The actual interest rates on any bonds sold will depend upon market conditions and other factors at the time of sale. The actual assessed valuations in future years will depend upon the value of the property within the District as determined in the assessment and equalization process. Therefore, the actual tax rates and the years in which such rates are applicable may vary from those presently estimated as stated above.

Sunita V. Cooke, Ph.D.
Superintendent President
MiraCosta Community College District 

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR



Vote YES on Measure MM to improve MiraCosta College: a vital contributor to our North San Diego County economy and an essential resource for local students seeking affordable higher education and preparation for 21st century careers.

MiraCosta College provides training in growing fields like biotechnology, nursing, maritime technology and high-tech manufacturing. Local technology companies, hospitals and businesses count on MiraCosta College for skilled workers.

More than 1,800 active-duty military personnel, veterans and their families rely on MiraCosta College for essential job training and counseling services.

From Carmel Valley in the south to Camp Pendleton in the north, more than one- third of local high school graduates attend MiraCosta College. As the cost of four- year college skyrockets, demand for MiraCosta College’s excellent, affordable higher education has risen.

It has been more than 50 years since MiraCosta College received significant funding for facility improvements. Classrooms, laboratories and career training facilities need upgrading. Additional classrooms and labs are needed to serve the growing demand for career training in healthcare, science, technology, engineering and math. State government will not provide the necessary funds to our college.

Vote YES on MM:

  • Upgrade career training facilities for science, nursing, healthcare, engineering, technology and skilled trades
  • Improve facilities for veterans’ job training, counseling and support services
  • Update instructional technology for improved student learning in math, science and technology
  • Improve access for students with disabilities
  • Repair or replace leaky roofs, worn-out floors and restrooms, old rusty plumbing and faulty electrical systems

Every Penny Stays Local

  • All funds would support our local community college
  • No funds could be taken by the State
  • No funds could be spent on salaries or pensions
  • Independent citizens’ oversight is required

Join business leaders, veterans, taxpayer advocates, educators and students in supporting Measure MM: protect MiraCosta College as an essential resource for local students and employers alike.


Chairman of the Board, San Diego Taxpayers Association

President & CEO, Biocom 

Brigadier General, USMC, (ret.)

President, National Student Nurses Association at MiraCosta College

Encinitas Business Owner 

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST



Vote No on MiraCosta College Measure MM

The proposed MiraCosta College $455 million General Obligation Bond is not necessary. This request for more tax dollars comes at a time when facility needs are declining because of flat enrollment and 40% of all of MiraCosta’s credits are now being granted for online courses.

MiraCosta is a wealthy district. It receives more each year in local property taxes and other income than required to operate its educational programs and with state aid, to fund its ongoing facilities’ needs. Over the years, taxpayers have provided MiraCosta more than 70 buildings. About half, have been constructed in the past 40 years.

Now, it appears that those in power want to reconfigure the 3 campuses. They want $455 million of your money to tear down some very expensive, fully functional buildings and to replace them with new ones. Because the $455 million is beyond MiraCosta’s borrowing and state support limits, it is jumping on the bond market band wagon and hoping voters will blindly pass its unsupported Measure MM request.

MiraCosta has language in this proposal that will allow it to basically use the $455 million for whatever construction projects it wants, where it wants and when it wants. Consequently, if voters approve the bond they will not be assured that everything proposed will ever be built.

The massive $455 million is not justified. The MiraCosta bond request amount is 23 times more than the system wide California Community College Trustees included in its 5 year plan and 10 times more than even what MiraCosta told these trustees it needed.

While additional facilities may be desired, they appear to be within the capability of the existing MiraCosta budget. No new bonds/taxes are required.

Please stop the waste - Vote No on MiraCosta Collage [sic] Measure MM


Co-founder Stop Taxing Us

Former Mayor of Encinitas

Former Board Member - Republican Party of San Diego County

President of the Cardiff Taxpayers Assoc.

President Encinitas Taxpayers Association 

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments FOR



MiraCosta College District Property Owners
The proposed MiraCosta College bond is completely unnecessary and a shameless waste of taxpayer’s money

In 2000, the percentage of votes needed to pass K12 and community college school bonds was reduced from 66 2/3rds% to 55%. Now over 80% of school bonds pass, regardless of their size or justification. Because of this, many districts are now seeking the maximum bond amounts allowed by law, rather than just what they truly need. MiraCosta’s massive demolish and rebuild proposal appears to be a product of this wasteful thinking.

MiraCosta wants the voters to give it $455 million, without specific plans or meaningful justification, and then allow it, in all its wisdom, to determine how to spend the money. This upside down process must be rejected because it includes no guarantees that everything presented to the voters will ever be built.

MiraCosta, in its proponent statement, side stepped the point that its income over the past 50 years has been tremendous. It is one of only a few college districts that has been able to fund both an extravagant operation and a robust building program without General Obligation Bonds, for such a period of time.

Throughout the MiraCosta College District there are multiple K12 school districts. Each of which probably having one or more outstanding bonds; therefore, to avoid expensive unexpected tax impacts, the cumulative cost of all school bonds must be carefully considered before voting.

Stop the Waste

Vote No on Measure MM


Medical Doctor

President Encinitas Taxpayers Assoc.

Pres. Of the Cardiff Taxpayers Assoc. 

Former Encinitas Mayor

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments AGAINST



Our opponents have misunderstood or mistaken the facts.

Let’s correct the record:

FACT: MiraCosta College’s facility needs are rising because the State of California eliminated community college facility funds 10 years ago. That’s why nearly every other community college in California has passed bonds recently – some, multiple times. MiraCosta College hasn’t passed one in 50 years. Measure MM is also necessary to help MiraCosta College qualify for any future state facility funds.

FACT: Over 19,000 students take classes at MiraCosta College each semester, in person. MiraCosta College is a leader in providing online content, but thousands of students are pursuing programs requiring hands-on learning, real world training and practical experience. Measure MM is necessary to provide these skills for today’s jobs in manufacturing, technology, healthcare and other growing fields.

FACT: Our aging college, which has served our region well for decades, is offering 21st century career training in buildings from the 1950s and 1960s. We can be proud that the college has taken care of its facilities for so many years, but we live in a rapidly changing world and it’s simply not possible to prepare students to compete for today’s and tomorrow’s jobs in classrooms and labs built 50 years ago.

FACT: Measure MM is a thoughtful plan, focused on essential improvements, with a specific project list, subject to citizen oversight annual audits. That’s why it is one of very few 2016 measures endorsed by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.

Please join us – Vote Yes on Measure MM.


President/Founder, Veterans Association of North County

Chairman of the Board, San Diego Taxpayers Association

President & CEO, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.

San Diego Republican Party Activist

Solana Beach Educator and Leader

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Measure MM

Organizations (3)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
No on Measure MM

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)

More information

News (3)

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