Michael Coleman, the creator of California City Finance and policy advisor to the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO) and the League of California Cities has released a study of the impacts that Supermajority requirements have had on local government bond and tax measures.
The report breaks down the 2,200 tax and bond measures that went before voters since 2000, when Proposition 39 allowed for 55 percent approval for certain bonds. Using that as a benchmark, Coleman compared success and failure rates for a variety of bonds. He further extrapolated how their success or failure rates would have been changed if the 55 percent threshold was extended to other forms of taxes and bonds.
According to Coleman’s report, which can be found in its entirety at the California Local Government Finance Almanac, two out of three general purpose use taxes or bonds were passed with a majority vote; four out of five 55 percent vote school bond measures passed; and half of the two-thirds vote measures succeeded. Had the 55 percent threshold been applicable across the board, 279 additional measures would have been approved.
Similarly, had the 55 percent threshold not been approved for school bond measures, 305 of the 524 approved measures would have failed.
Read Coleman’s full report at California Local Government Finance Almanac.