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Letters to the editor

On raising L.A. property taxes, the end of the California dream and the promise of a state constitutional convention.

August 18, 2009

Re "Schools to raise taxes," Aug. 15

Thanks to The Times, I now understand the following: Based on clauses in the bond issuance little-known to the voters, to pay for the cost of schools that may not be needed due to declining enrollment and that might not be operated in any event due to lack of operational funds, my property taxes will rise hundreds of dollars during the worst economic times since the 1930s.

I have just two additional questions: Who do I contact to bring a lawsuit, and where do I sign the recall petition?

Stephanie Scher

Los Angeles

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Last June, I became one of the thousands of teachers laid off by LAUSD Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines, despite the fact that I had taught in district schools for nine years.

Now Cortines is going to raise my property taxes hundreds of dollars a year?

In what other city, in what other profession can your supervisor put you out of work and then ask you to pay more money to help fund the company from which you were just terminated?

Brian Hayes

Granada Hills

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Outrageous. The LAUSD can't manage its resources, so it decides to confiscate money from homeowners at a time when many are barely holding on to their properties because of the tanked economy.

This district is out of control and needs to be rebuilt from scratch as several smaller, more manageable and accountable districts.

Perhaps the way to start is to recall the pickpockets on the Board of Education and replace them with more ethical members who would begin the process of breaking up the district.

Some institutions can't be reformed from the inside. The LAUSD repeatedly shows itself to be one of those.

Gary R. Levine

West Hills

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Conventional wisdom warrants that I should be stark-raving mad at having to pay higher property taxes, or any taxes at all, for public education when I have no children. But I'm not angry.

I pay my share into the system because all children have the right to a basic public education. This benefits me and society in many untold ways.

If parents can afford to buy their children a higher level of education, they certainly have the option to pay extra for private schools. But the costs of basic education should be shared by all, whether we have children or not.

The same should go for healthcare. A basic public option should be available to every person in America, with everyone paying into the system. It would be good for me, good for my neighbor and good for society.

Tony Leonhardt

Los Angeles

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This proposed property tax hike is unacceptable.

All taxes, no matter what they are called -- property, sales, fees -- are paid out of people's incomes and thus are all "income" taxes.

The problem is they are not all related to one's income size. Houses do not earn an income, people do.

Seniors with limited fixed incomes are already being charged a higher percentage because their incomes are small. A further tax hike for schools is an unfair increase on small incomes. The county must find a way to relate taxes to incomes.

Charge a school tax based on income taxes or the number of children one has in the schools.

Leave senior incomes alone to take care of their heavy medical expenses.

Carol Clever

Torrance

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