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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Prop. 13 Provides Financial Stability

June 06, 2003

Re "Low Taxes for Some, Chaos for All," Opinion, June 1: William Fulton and Paul Shigley do a very capable job of describing the funding conflict between local governments and Sacramento. These same editors of the California Planning & Development Report amazingly neglect to mention the two greatest benefits from Proposition 13. The benefits are, of course, the additional stability to do better long-term personal financial planning and the ability to invest in the development (improvement) of your home without incurring punishing property taxes.

The near-record low mortgage interest rates have spurred refinancing, which in turn has stoked the home improvement industry, and doubly so because of the increasing home market value. This activity generates sales tax, business tax and income tax revenues without increasing the size of government. Agreeing with John Maynard Keynes -- in the long run, I will be dead. And then the state and city will reap the benefits of my investment in my home and its appreciation through the much-increased property taxes paid by the new owner. It is a good bargain for all and it is ultimately fair. Long live Proposition 13.

Douglas Hughes

Glendale

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