To the editor: UCLA economics and finance professor Ivo Welch proposes eliminating state sales and income taxes and tripling the property tax rate (“A tax that can't flee the state,” Opinion, June 8). Translation: All property owners must come up with a quantity of cash based on how badly other people want what they own.
He claims that it is fairer because wealthier individuals “generally own more expensive houses in more expensive locations.” And he claims that when people do not move, it “creates a tight market and drives up prices.” People should move from homes they like to keep prices down?
I especially dislike Welch's proposal because without Proposition 13, I could not afford my property taxes and I would be forced out of my home. Far fairer would be a graduated income tax on gross income with no loopholes.
Elizabeth Wright, Marina del Rey
To the editor: This is what Welch's idea of tripling the property tax would mean to my wife and me:
Over the 56 years that we have lived in our house, which we bought for $20,000, we have added about $50,000 in additions and improvements. We brought up our family here, and the house is full of family pictures, books and stuff collected on many trips.
We are happy here; we love the city in which we have worked and have been fully engaged in our community.
Over the decades, our property has greatly increased in value. That's nice, but we really don't care because we intend to live here the rest of our lives. But Welch would have our property taxes increase to the point of decimating our retirement income, likely forcing us from our home.
I have never understood the fairness of increasing property taxes based on unrealized market prices. Thank God for Howard Jarvis and Proposition 13.
Ricardo Nicol, San Clemente