To the editor: Jim Newton's evidence supports his assertion that wealthy country clubs are getting an unfair tax break thanks to Proposition 13. So what's the alternative? Tax the clubs to death so they are forced to sell their land to developers, who will tear out the golf courses, grass and trees and build streets and high-rises there? ("Know what else Prop. 13 does? It gives tax breaks to country clubs," Op-Ed, June 30)
Personally, I've never belonged to any country club. But I can tell you that we must support preserving whatever green space we do have over allowing bad architecture, overdevelopment, traffic nightmares and parking congestion.
There's something that's more important than a plebeian sense of economic justice here. It's called quality of life.
Richard Rothschild, Los Angeles
To the editor: Newton cites inequities in property taxes without mentioning apartment complexes.
As I recall from 1978, Howard Jarvis did not spearhead the Proposition 13 campaign on the part of homeowners but rather on the part of the apartment building owners. Jarvis co-opted homeowners to get their favorable votes.
Yes, homeowners received a benefit, but apartment owners really did well. A small case in point: The property tax on an eight-unit apartment complex I own, purchased before Proposition 13, costs me $5,843 a year. The property tax on the house my daughter and son-in-law purchased after Proposition 13 costs them $9,948 a year.
Yes, I could voluntarily pay more for my apartment house, but that isn't the point. Proposition 13 can never be changed as it applies to homeowners, but it can be amended for apartment owners and commercial and industrial properties.
Martin A. Brower, Corona del Mar
To the editor: Here we go again, hammering away at poor old Proposition 13.
Newton fingers the Wilshire Country Club as an unintended beneficiary. My late husband and I joined the club in 1979 because he loved golf. I am not, by anyone's standard, a wealthy person, nor are many of the club's other members.
There are a great many people employed by the Wilshire Country Club who work on the golf course, in the dining rooms and in the locker rooms, and they are all loved by the members. In some cases, several generations of family members are or have been employed by the club. Give the club a break.
And for the record, my own home is protected by Proposition 13, thank God. Otherwise, I might not be able to afford to live in my wonderful home at the age of 88 on a retirement income.
Barbara Hardesty, Los Angeles