California voters were in an expansive mood this week when it came to local tax and bond measures.
Michael Coleman, who operates a website devoted to local government and school finances, reported Wednesday that at least 70 of the 89 tax and bond measures were passed, with several others too close to call as votes continue to be counted.
Those approved included 41 of the 46 measures that had proposed $6.2 billion in school bond authorizations, all 7 school parcel taxes and 12 of the 13 general city tax measures.
The approved school bonds are about $5.5 billion, the largest being a $950 million measure for the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
The surge in school bond measures is tied, politically and legally, to a $9 billion state education bond proposal that will be on the November ballot. Passing local bonds prepares school and community college districts to provide matching funds in applications for state bond money should it be approved in November.
The most conspicuous failures among the local tax and bond measures were city and county sales tax hikes that required two-thirds votes because they were for specific purposes. Four of the six such measures were rejected, one passed and one is still in limbo.
Local sales taxes that were for general revenue purposes and required only simple majority votes fared better with four of eight passing, two failing and one still pending.