Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the editor are a great way to focus attention on the need for Prop. 13 reform. Getting LTEs published shows the public that this reform will generate over $10 billion each year for schools and public services without raising taxes on homeowners or renters. Below is the list of LTEs that have been published in support of making large corporations pay their fair share.
For tips on how to write and submit your own letter, check out our LTE Campaign Action Center!
The idea that Prop. 13 was meant to protect seniors is propaganda
I disagree strongly with the letter writer who stated that Proposition 13 was designed to help seniors who, before 1978, could not afford the escalating property tax bills. That was the propaganda.
In reality, Proposition 13 helps mostly businesses with huge, valuable locations pay a small property tax. As a senior, I purchased my condominium after 1978 and pay more than many homeowners with twice the space in Beverly Hills.
What was really harmed was our state budget, with less money available for education and infrastructure. This is still the case, as we now have tax inequality, classes with 38 students, worn-out schools with no librarians or counselors, poor roadways, and power lines inferior to those that are now underground in several European countries.
Proposition 13's gift to commercial property owners
Columnist Conor Friedersdorf touched on the topic of commercial parcels but quickly switched subjects in his Proposition 13 tax revolt discussion. He didn’t dare reveal the hidden Prop. 13 provision that allows commercial/industrial property to avoid assessment when the property is sold.
A Prop.13 loophole stipulated that if less than half of the property value is sold to a new owner, the transaction will not trigger (avoids) a property tax reassessment. Ergo, ownership of most commercial/industrial holdings are divided between three or more investors. They always limit sales to less than half of the ownership, avoiding property tax increases year after year for decades.
That ploy shifted the property tax burden to residential property. Before, Prop.13 residential owners bore about 55% of the total property tax burden Today, they bear more than 70% while commercial property owners share less than 30%
It’s high time for those commercial/industrial properties to be reassessed to current market value and the fractional exemption should be eliminated.
Invest in schools again
Regarding “Teacher protests put GOP on the spot in red states” (Nation, April 5): Increasing education funding is essential to teachers and schools. It is great to see so many teacher protests across red states like Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona because of poor public education funding. However, let us not forget that poor education funding is not limited just to Republican states. Most people don’t know that California — one of the most Democratic states in the nation — is actually on par with several of these red states in education funding. We are consistently ranked within the bottom 10 states even though California used to lead the nation in education funding during the 1960s. Now is the time to finally tackle the root of California’s education problem: Proposition 13. Reforming Prop. 13 is the best thing we can do to invest in our schools again.
Full List of Published LTEs: