Regarding "It Doesn't Take a Genius -- or a Recall Candidate -- to See the Flaws of Prop. 13" (Golden State, Aug. 21):
Michael Hiltzik has done an excellent job exposing the structural discrimination that grows with each passing year and the problem with overreliance on income taxes.
Warren Buffett is blasted as a liberal by some Republicans. Well, I'm a fiscal conservative, lifelong Californian Republican and father of seven children who now face the terrible discrimination of Proposition 13, and the chief financial officer of a major California-based corporation (Oracle), and yet I totally agree with him, as do many other financial professionals -- Republicans and Democrats.
We don't need a recall if none of the candidates, who certainly know better, is willing to take on this sacred cow.
Hiltzik points out some of the ways to mitigate reassessment for older homeowners, and there are other ways as well, such as capping the tax increase by lowering rates if property values grow quickly.
We absolutely need to control spending and create a lower-cost environment for business, but we also need to find a more predictable, fairer mix of sales, property and income taxes.
What needs to be understood is the unfairness of the property tax as it was before Proposition 13. Regardless of the run-up in property values as stated by Michael Hiltzik, the fact is, a person qualifies to buy a house based on income at the time of purchase.
Neither the buyer nor the bank anticipate a run-up in value that will inflate property assessments regardless of income. Hence it wasn't just the elderly who were in the position of possibly losing their homes; it was anyone with a steady job who under normal circumstances could not count on an income increase to match the inflated value of their home.