Voters across the nation will decide the fate of $10.05 billion of municipal bonds in next Tuesday's general election, according to figures compiled by The Bond Buyer.
State and local governments have put 528 bond proposals on their ballots -- the most ever reported for Election Day. The previous record was 473 in 1990.
This year's $10.05 billion bond total is the fourth-largest for general elections since The Bond Buyer began tracking them in 1945. The record, $15.09 billion, was set in 1988, followed by $12.33 billion in 1990 and $11.81 billion in 1992.
Last year, 322 bond proposals, totaling $7.23 billion, were submitted for voter approval, and 217 issues totaling $5.3 billion, or 73.3%, were approved.
Two billion-dollar bond proposals led the list of major issues. Detroit (Mich.) Public School District proposed $1.5 billion of bonds to renovate and repair local schools, while California has $1 billion of bonds for passenger rail transit and clean-air projects on the statewide ballot. Those two elections account for 26% of the proposed volume.
Other large proposals include Clark County (Nev.) School District, which seeks approval for $905 million to build and renovate schools; Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties in Oregon, which proposed $475 million to build a new light-rail transit line; Seattle School District No. 1, which submitted $332 million to build several new schools; and West Virginia, which proposed $300 million to build and improve water and sewer systems.
School bonds make up the vast majority of election proposals, accounting for 283 issues worth $6.14 billion, or 61% of the total. General-purpose issues account for 42 issues totaling $1.32 billion, followed by 114 public facilities issues totaling $879 million, 29 transportation issues totaling $742 million, and 45 utility issues totaling $741 million.
Local districts -- virtually all of them school, park, and fire protection districts -- account for 275 issues, totaling $5.84 billion, on next Tuesday's ballots. State governments have proposed $1.71 billion, cities and town $1.44 billion, counties $1.05 billion, and local authorities $5 million.
California and Michigan's billion-dollar issues put them in the forefront of the 50 states with $1.77 billion and $1.56 billion of bond proposals, respectively. Nevada is third with $906 million, followed by Oregon with $694 million and Ohio with $689 million.
The bond election data in this story and the accompanying tables are preliminary and based on information available to The Bond Buyer as of Friday, Nov. 4. This will exclude bond proposals that are on tomorrow's ballots but were not reported by Friday. The updated information will be available in the upcoming story on election results.