Measure D barely squeaked over the 55 percent threshold with all precincts reporting. But with so many vote by mail ballots yet to be counted, the race remains too close to call.
On Tuesday, the Contra Costa County registrar of voters said up to 20 percent of vote -- mailed-in ballots, or those dropped off Tuesday at polling places -- remain to be counted.
Measure D authorizes the San Ramon Valley school district to issue up to $260 million in bonds to finance 45 infrastructure and technology upgrades at San Ramon Valley district schools.
The projects include seismic upgrades; upgrades to electrical, heating and air-conditioning systems; technology infrastructure upgrades; security cameras; new classrooms; new stadium bleachers at San Ramon Valley and Monte Vista high schools; and a new $31 million elementary school in Dougherty Valley.
San Ramon Valley voters approved a $70 million bond measure in 1998 and a $260 million bond measure in 2002. District residents are currently paying down those bonds.
Local voters also approved a $144 annual parcel tax -- Measure C -- in 2009 to help fill a funding gap since the 2008 recession began. Measure C expires in 2016.
The average annual tax required to repay all of the bonds issued under Measure D would be $27.75 per $100,000 of a home's assessed valuation, according to district estimates. The anticipated combined tax rate for funding all three bonds is $75 annually per $100,000 in assessed value, or $375 for a home assessed at $500,000.
Every member on the board of education has supported Measure D, and all three candidates running for two open seats on the board supported it.
Supporters say the measure is worth the cost and that the district's older schools are in dire need of infrastructure upgrades. They have also argued that the district has a track record of responsibly using money raised by past bond measures.
Opponents claim Measure D goes too far. They have argued that raising taxes on homeowners during tough economic times is not the right thing to do, and that infrastructure and technology upgrades should be paid for from the district's general fund. They argue that the bond enables more general fund money to go to salaries and benefits for district teachers and personnel.
Contact Jason Sweeney at 925-847-2123. Follow him at Twitter.com/Jason_Sweeney.