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'Proposition 13 Benefits Few at Expense of Many'

August 14, 1988

Subject: Your editorial of July 31, "Proposition 13 Benefits Few at Expense of Many":

It must be a dull news week for your editors--so, 'tis time for Proposition 13 bashing. I resent your biased, skewed editorial. You have libeled all of us with your misguided claptrap about how some of us get benefits the rest of Orange County's homeowners (the new ones) do not get under Proposition 13.

Pitting new homeowners against us "stay putters" is a cheap shot of the worst kind. As a Proposition 13 beneficiary, I truly empathize with the left-out newcomers. It is unfair, but then all life these days seems to be unfair.

If I had my druthers, no personal residence in this county and, in fact, in all of California would be subject to any property tax--zero!

Proposition 13 literally saved a generation of homeowners from foreclosure due to excessive taxing. The inflationary pricing--resulting in inflationary and backbreaking property-tax assessments--were not caused by Proposition 13.

This desperate effort (the proposition) was devised at a time of dire danger, taxpayer rage and revolt. The hapless homeowner became the scapegoat to the assessor, developer, real estate speculators and public administrators. As the assessments began to pile up, homeowners cried out for help: from the assessor, from the Legislature, from editors of influential newspapers.

Did any of you listen? Of course not. But one prominent citizen did: Howard Jarvis called for an initiative, and Proposition 13 became a reality. All California voters had an opportunity to vote, and the majority approved.

The Times suffered egg on the editorial face with its injudicious forecast that the initiative would be defeated. Why do you continue with your periodic diatribes against Proposition 13? You simply made a bad election call. The people spoke.

The high prices of current housing are not the result of Proposition 13. High taxes on high-priced properties are also not a result of Proposition 13.

You suggest by your editorial that those of us who have "stayed put" in our homes over these 10-plus years are somehow responsible for the public treasury shortfall. You have got to be kidding.

If a public agency budgets beyond its income, logic tells me that the administrators are responsible and not an untouchable resource as you apparently view beneficiaries of Proposition 13.

MRS. A. SPIEGEL

Huntington Beach

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