Stewart's eye-opening articles on the crisis in L.A. rentals accurately describes the destructive effects of our ever-increasing rental costs. She correctly noted that skyrocketing land prices were responsible for much of the escalation in rentals.
Proposition 13 is largely to blame for this dilemma in that it virtually eliminated taxes on vacant and underdeveloped land and sharply increased taxes for those who built on their land. The ludicrous fees imposed on builders further exacerbates the problem.
The first step in dealing with this crisis should be the replacement of Proposition 13 with legislation which would require higher and fair taxation of land values and eliminate the taxation of housing and buildings. In this way, the housing stock would be increased, rentals would come down and construction would be rewarded while land speculation and underdevelopment would be discouraged.
DAVID F. O'BRIEN