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$38.5M school bond before Ripon voters
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Ripon — just five months after voters rejected a $125 a year parcel tax to staff the community’s new fire station — will be voting Tuesday on another property tax related measure.

This time instead of deciding whether to impose a tax that would have collected $1.2 million in its first year for the Ripon Consolidated Fire District, voters will decide the fate of a proposed $38.5 million Ripon Unified School District bond that requires a 55 percent affirmative vote to pass.

Unlike the fire tax that was a flat parcel fee, Measure I will cost property owners $36 more a year per $100,000 of assessed valuation. That is the assessed value and not the market value.  If the assessor says a home is worth $300,000 the annual tax bill increase would be $108.

The assessed price is originally based on the price that a home cost at the close of escrow. Then in subsequent years the assessed value increase is capped at 2 percent a year max under Proposition 13. That means someone may have bought a home for $200,000 two decades ago that might be worth $600,000 today if it were to sell but it would be assessed at just over $300,000. But if someone paid $600,000 for that home today, they would be paying $216 a year for Measure I as it would be assessed at the price it sold.

Measure I addresses issues at Ripon High as well as Ripon and Ripona elementary schools — the district’s three oldest campuses. The $25.2 million Measure G bond votes approved six years ago addressed campus facilities at Weston and Colony Oak schools that were built originally using primarily portable classrooms due to the district’s inability at the time to build more costly permanent structures.

 Measure I, as outlined by the school district would address deferred maintenance items such as major roof work and heating and air conditioning systems needing replacement, modernization of bathrooms, and improvement in security at all three campuses.

At the 53-year-old Ripona School it would also:

*replace cracked playground asphalt and eliminate tripping hazards.

*replace three 30 year-old plus portables that have a rated life expectancy of 15 years with permanent classrooms.

*reconfigure space in the administrative building to create more space for education programs.

*replace and upgrade 53-year-old wiring as well as make cable for Internet access more robust.

 Ripon Elementary School’s biggest ticket items evolve around roofing and heating/air conditioning systems.

At Ripon High it would allow the replacement of outdated portable classes, the construction of a permanent science lab key to the district’s effort to focus on Science Technology Electronics and Math (STEM) education, as well as reconfigure and expand the career technical education facilities including classrooms in the agricultural department. New Americans with Disabilities Act complaint restrooms will also be built at Stouffer Field.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email