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We Must Learn How to Stop Taxing Ourselves

March 31, 2004

"To Raise Taxes, Some Pin Hopes on State Ballot Box" (March 29) reports on putting a measure on the upcoming ballot to tax phones, both cell and landline, to help with emergency care and the underinsured. The article also states that in November 2002, voters agreed to a property tax in the county of Los Angeles to support the emergency and trauma care system. Did I miss something, or is the supposed money from 2002 and the current proposal intended for the same purpose and, if so, why?

Personally, I don't care how you try to solve our fiscal problems, but I do care about a system that continually overlooks some of the basic problems. My biggest pain: The illegal immigrant situation that continues to drain our resources, hospitals, schools and emergency rooms because they have no insurance. Not with my phones you won't!

Vince Watson

West Hollywood

Just look at your phone bill. It is littered with taxes and surcharges, almost equal now to the cost of the phone. We've got enough taxes. It's time to cut, not to increase, taxes.

B. Dirk Yarborough

Costa Mesa

In your article reporting that tax-increase initiatives may face voters in November, the property-tax increase is continually referred to as a "corporate property tax." The truth is that this property tax increase hits all commercial property, including residential rental property, in California, and not just corporations. Small businesses, which make up the backbone of our economy, will suffer under this tax increase if passed by the voters. Apartment and small-business tenants will see their rents raised because the tax increase will be passed on to small businesses and residential tenants. This tax increase is not what the proponents pretend it to be.

Joel Fox

President

Small Business Action

Committee, Sacramento

Re "Council May Delay DWP Rate Hike," March 24: As an L.A. Department of Water and Power client, I can't believe that the City Council and the mayor would let it raise the water rates.

This, in reality, is just another tax, as the giant surplus that the DWP is creating is transferred to the city coffers anyway. In the last few years, we have seen our bills go up tremendously, from electric to sewer services.

It is about time the leaders of the city made some hard decisions and made it easier for the citizens in L.A. instead of sneaking in rate hikes that are really new taxes.

Alan Goodstein

Studio City

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