Before Prop. 13
During the 1970s, property values soared, resulting in substantial increases in taxes. Taxpayers revolted, worried they couldn’t stay in their homes. Before Prop. 13, property taxes were based on yearly assessment of market value; after Prop. 13, it was based on purchase price and could only increase 2 percent above inflation. It was written by Republicans and has been spoken of favorably by none other than Gov. Jerry Brown.
On a different subject, I read often that people say that capitalism doesn’t work. Turn on your television; the European system works even worse. Greece is a mess, and Portugal and Italy aren’t far behind. Their entitlements have or are about to bankrupt their countries. Spreading the wealth doesn’t work either.
Money versus discipline
How long has D. Duane Wall II been strumming that Prop. 13 string (letters, Oct. 26)? The issue isn’t money, it is discipline. Education is free, but no one is required to actually learn anything. They get passed to the next grade whether they learn or not.
We have also become so worried about little Billy’s self-esteem. I had an eighth-grade teacher who would give a test every Friday. When we came in on Monday, we were re-seated in the order of our grades. Highest grade in the first seat, second highest in the second, etc. If this teacher did that today, parents would be calling for his hide. Schools have no problem encouraging competition in sports, but are afraid of it in the academic arena.
There are simple steps to fix the schools that cost no money:
1. Everyone wears uniforms.
2. Textbook writers prepare the tests, not the teachers.
3. Parents are held more accountable for their children’s attendance and school work.
4. Hold kids back who do not learn the curriculum.
5. Eliminate levels of bureaucratic waste (city, county, state, federal).
Encourage competition in the classroom rather than hide from it. That is how it is in the real world.
I believe Mr. Wall’s knowledge of Prop. 13 is no doubt lacking of circumstances of what was going on in 1978 (letters, Oct. 26). If it were not for Prop. 13, I doubt I would be able to afford the property tax on my home. In those years, our esteemed state legislators were increasing our property taxes at the drop of a pin. Prop. 13 was the only thing that could stop them from taxing the middle class and others out of our homes.
Please remember the Democrats have controlled the state Legislature for more years then I can remember. It is their out-of-control spending that has put us on the verge of bankruptcy.
Mr. Wall says, “Vote Republican, and give them year-round summer vacations.” I say vote Democrat and show me the way to the bankruptcy court.
Point of note, my family and I have lived in California for 100 years. I have lived in the state for more than 80.
Billions of dollars saved
As a tax-paying property owner, I feel compelled to respond to Mr. Wall’s letter referring to Prop. 13 as the “stupidity bomb.”
Is the writer not aware that Prop. 13 has saved homeowners billions of dollars in property taxes since its enactment 20-plus years ago and also saved people from having to sell their homes in order to just pay the tax? Howard Jarvis and his Taxpayers Association brought this much-needed reform to fruition. If not for Prop. 13, current property taxes could possibly be as much as 3 percent or 4 percent of assessed value rather than the 1 percent we now pay.
As for our schools taking a hit, what happened to the proceeds from the California Lottery that were supposed to help fund schools? Perhaps it doesn’t matter to the very affluent that their property taxes could go sky high, but to the average homeowner who is already overburdened with debt because of our faltering economy, it could very well prove to be a disaster.