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LETTERS / FALLING DOWN : Proposition 13 Didn't Cause the Troubles in L.A.

March 22, 1993

I am so tired of hearing Proposition 13 blamed for all the woes of this city ("The Urban Reality: Why (Heart) L.A.?," March 15). I am a docent at Los Encinos State Historical Park, and I have to know my 1870's for my avocation.

In 1870, there were an average of 30 murders a month in Los Angeles. At that time the county had about 15,000 non--Indian residents and the city had about 6,000 population. They wouldn't even count the Natives here at that time. The rate for murder then is much higher than the rate for murder now. This was a frontier town with a lot more problems and animosity among everyone. All adult males who could afford one carried a handgun. Can you imagine 6 million handguns carried today?

The problems here now are those that we inherited and did nothing about when we had the chance. If I had to pay property tax at the non--Proposition 13 rate, I would have to move. PETER A. SPERLING

West Hills

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