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Latinos and the Lottery

June 08, 1988

Gamboa's article accurately describes our state lottery as "a wholesale, deceitful transfer of funds from the poor that relieves the affluent of their educational tax burden." However, his major proposed alternative, increased taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, would also be paid disproportionately by minority and low-income consumers.

The lottery is but one of a series of measures, including Proposition 13, aimed at eliminating the tax burden on the property owners whose land values are increased by the construction and operation of schools, and placing that burden on the politically inactive and passive low-income and minority groups who own no property.

As an alternative to the lottery, I would suggest imposition of special benefit assessments on all land values in the state which are affected by the presence of schools and by the higher standard of living and higher technological gains caused by the education of our citizens.

It is interesting to note that the day Gamboa's article was published, The Times carried an article on the average home price of over $500,000 in the proposed city of Malibu, with the average price for beachfront homes being $1.14 million in 1986. It is disgraceful that we should stoop to raising tax monies by a deceitful imposition on low-income, poorly educated workers, while those whose land values skyrocket by reason of population growth and the existence of educational opportunities, pay so little.

STANLEY SAPIRO

Malibu

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