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Prop. 13 protected homeowners

June 10, 2008

Re "Prop. 13 at 30," editorial, June 6

You say that "there really were people in the 1970s who could have been taxed out of their homes." I was one of them. I was taxed out of my $80,000 beach home.

I didn't vote for Proposition 13 because I knew it would hurt public services. Perhaps The Times should keep in mind that we who benefited most from it will soon be gone. Our passing will enhance tax revenues.

Had a more reasonable tax law been enacted in 1978, it would have been beneficial to state and local services and less of a burden to homeowners.

Jean Mannings

Redondo Beach


In 1977, our taxes had tripled from 1970. We worried what they would be in 1978. We could not assume an additional tax burden. Proposition 13 fixed that problem.

Taxation should be related to income. If you earn more, you pay more. If your income is fixed, your taxes should be fixed. Why don't politicians want to address this matter?

Tom Pincu

Los Angeles


I'll remind you that rent control and Proposition 13 operate for the same benefit: protecting long-term residents from the vicious effects of rampant speculation. Consistency demands that you support one if you support the other.

Second, before calling for any changes in Proposition 13, you should present data on what percentage of California residences are sold every five years, 10 years and 30 years into higher tax rates. We just went through a decade of massive churn in the housing market, which should be great for tax assessments.

Last, if a commercial enterprise is operating at the same property year after year, isn't that a good thing for job stability?

George T. Chronis

Los Angeles


What a bunch of drivel. You really want to give Proposition 13 a haircut? The barber needs the real clipping. How about doing away with government-defined benefit pensions for all new hires? How about reducing fringe benefits? How about kicking elected officials out of office if they cannot balance a budget?

We have two classes of citizens: Government employees who can retire at younger and younger ages, and those who have to wait longer to retire so they can pay government employees.

Almost every homeowner has gained from Proposition 13. Don't touch it until the government can prove it is able to stick to a balanced budget.

Robert Somerville



As a property owner and a real estate professional, I agree fully with the editorial. However, rather than weakening the measure, as The Times suggests, changes should be geared to strengthening protections that homeowners need.

In particular, with declining home values, the automatic increase in property valuation should be cut from 2% annually to 1%.

Unless and until the governor and Legislature get the states' fiscal house in order, Proposition 13 should stand as a bulwark against irresponsible politicians who care more about their jobs and perks than the financial health of the people they swore to serve.

Bill Greenberg

Laguna Niguel

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