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Look no further than Prop. 13

August 20, 2013

Kudos to Gerry Rankin for his spot-on letter ( “Using GWP as profit center is logical,” Aug. 14) identifying the role of Prop. 13 as the primary reason for municipal revenue shortfalls.

If only our current dilemma were the result of pension plans, but it is far more complex. Home owners must be protected against unaffordable property tax increases, but Prop. 13, which prohibits the reassessment of a property except when ownership changes, has allowed corporations to avoid paying their fair share.

A “split roll” that would tax commercial and industrial properties differently from residences to account for the differences in property sales is the only feasible mechanism for undoing the myriad of damages — particularly to schools — resulting from Prop. 13. And let’s not forget the role of corporate welfare, by which cities offer tax breaks to multimillion and multibillion-dollar commercial entities that do not need them, further depriving municipalities of essential revenue.

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Jennifer Pinkerton
Glendale

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