Steve and Teri Thompson
Prop. 13 should be modified, not scrapped
We bought in 1986 so our property taxes aren’t as low as Gerry Rankin’s, but we share his concern for fair play (“Past Brown-era tax law is not sacrosanct,” Feb. 13).
We really don’t need to scrap Proposition 13 in its entirety to save California’s schools and infrastructure; we need only split corporate-owned property from that owned by individuals. The unintended consequence of the 1978 initiative is that corporate-owned property is now assessed at roughly 60% of its value.
Corporations rarely die, especially those set up specifically to own property. Humans do not live nearly as long, plus they move around a lot more. Because each new owner has a new assessment, individually owned homes eventually are assessed at current value. Giant corporations continue to enjoy the benefits of doing business in a society paid for by younger families like Rankin’s neighbors.
Urge your representatives in Sacramento to modify Proposition 13 to require corporate-owned property to be reassessed every five or seven years or so. Meanwhile, you can donate to local nonprofits what you would pay in property taxes if your home were reassessed each year.
If you don’t have the extra cash, you can volunteer your time. Property taxes used to support our schools, so the Glendale Educational Foundation is a good choice.
Kimber’s column on elections rang true
Thanks to Dan Kimber for his column regarding elections that focus on issues (“Education Matters: Socrates could clean up dirty elections,” Feb. 17).
Kimber satisfied his own “test of three”: His words were true, they were good, and they were useful.