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The Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association will join supporters of Measure Y -- the $75 million bond measure to address facilities and construction projects at Hancock College -- for a Thursday morning rally and press conference to announce their support of the bond.

Scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce, Lanny Ebenstein, education chair for the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association, said the organization will join various labor and business groups, elected officials and local leaders to announce their support of the measure. The Chamber is located at 614 S. Broadway in Santa Maria.

"The Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association carefully considered the merits of Measure Y, and we believe it will be a cost-effective bond measure for the residents of the Allan Hancock College district," Ebenstein said.

Funding will allow the college to tap into $24 million allocated by the state for construction of the college's proposed Fine Arts Complex, as well as address needs to physical education facilities — some of which are more than 50 years old. Upgrades to the Lompoc campus also are planned, as well as an equipment purchase at the Solvang Theaterfest’s open-air Festival Theater.

Of the $75 million authorized by the bond measure, approximately $34 million will be used to pay off existing Measure I debt, leaving property owners with a single payment of $11 per $100,000 of assessed valuation over 30 years.

The bond requires approval from 55 percent of district voters to pass. No portion of the money can be used as salaries or pensions for college administrators, faculty or staff.

Mathew Burciaga covers education in Santa Maria and the surrounding area for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @math_burciaga

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