Last Sunday’s Conversation asked readers: Are you in favor of reforming California’s tax system? Why or why not?
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Yes, reform state’s tax system
Re “California’s tax system is in need of reform” (Editorials, May 29): I am not favoring our tax system at all. We have a great need to change this system to a flat tax system. This way, everyone pays an equal percentage of their income. No loopholes.
But the politicians don’t want this. I am tired of paying taxes for the poor and the ultra rich.
Reason for Prop. 13 forgotten
The editorial states that “California voters disrupted the tax system by approving Proposition 13 in 1978” then goes on to rail about rich businesses and residents who don’t pay a fair share.
Perhaps The Bee’s editorial board has forgotten that the primary reason Prop. 13 was passed is that home values were rising rapidly, resulting in reassessments that caused property taxes to rise faster than incomes and people were literally forced out of their homes due to their inability to pay taxes that had risen beyond anything they had anticipated.
Some of those people and businesses are property rich but cash poor. I’d also venture a guess that if actual service usage (police, fire and ambulance calls) were evaluated, you’d find that it’s not the rich who put the highest demand on those services.
Michael J. Sugden,
Where is tax money spent?
Californians are taxed to death, and where does the money go? We pay more for gasoline than most states and have millions of cars registered through the state Department of Motor Vehicles. That money is supposed to take care of our roads. Where is that money spent?
People keep voting for higher taxes and thinking that they will not be affected because only the rich will have to pay more in taxes. In the end, services and goods will go up and the general public will be paying through the nose.
Overhaul the tax system? Need to reform it? I am sure that will equate in higher taxes.
Steve Storm – During the late 1970s, the state of California had betrayed its taxpayers by overspending and showing no fiduciary responsibility whatsoever. If you are tithing to a church and find out your donations are being wasted, you simply stop giving. Problem solved. When state government leaders waste money on bullet trains and Delta drains that voters don’t want, the only protection we have is Proposition 13. While the current governor is warning us that state tax revenues are diminishing this year, he and his party extend social program spending. Remember, the state lottery and Indian casinos were supposed to fix school funding forever. The state needs to rebuild its credibility with taxpayers before it builds anything else.
Steve Holderness – Government is not a religion or a church, we don’t “donate” our taxes to the government. Government is the means by which we carry out the social contract of a civilized society; we agree to pay taxes in order to maintain social order. We want educated citizens so we pay for education, and on and on it goes. This system was set up by those who came before us. They designed this constitutional republic which gives more power (including taxation) with our elected officials. This, after their first attempt (Articles of Confederation) failed. If you don’t like the taxes you pay, elect someone more in alignment with your views. If your candidate does not win, try harder next time. That is how the system works.
Laura Sheridan – Ignorance aside, as evidenced in public opinion, the fact is that the tax code is a convoluted mess – thanks for taking this topic off of the dusty shelf. The state’s fiscal woes are directly tied to ballot box budgeting.