The Times response to Gov. George Deukmejian’s opposition to new taxes is absurd. You suggest “a 10 cent a gallon increase in the gasoline tax,” and “closing loopholes in the state sales tax,” both of which are regressive levies that would hit the hardest on low- and middle-income groups. You recommend “taxing certain services such as lawyer’s fees"--an unworkable attempt to increase the price of justice that was tried and failed in Florida. And, finally, you ask for “a split roll so that businesses could pay a higher level of property tax than homeowners.”
This last proposed fiscal monstrosity would save money for thousands of well-off homeowners in the western and other parts of town where homes sell for over $1 million. It would not only burden thousands of owners of small commercial properties, but compel an increase in prices of goods to millions of consumers.
A far better proposal would be to revamp our property tax and income tax systems so as to encourage production, discourage speculation and build a broader base from which tax revenues could be produced.