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Proposition 56’s Effects on Taxes and Services

Some honesty on the part of the sponsors of Proposition 56 would be refreshing. Their repeated ads keep stressing that it is to “end the budget delays that have created fiscal crisis in our state.” Their real purpose is to destroy Proposition 13 by lowering the legislative vote needed to increase taxes. The fiscal crisis was caused by overspending, not undertaxing. In the last five years, state revenue increased 25% but the state Legislature and governor increased state spending by 40%. The result is that the $13-billion surplus became a $38-billion shortfall. If voters approve Proposition 56 and permit taxes to be raised by a 55% vote, all taxpayers will be adversely affected and California will become more “business unfriendly” than it is today.

Ralph W. Dunham

Yorba Linda

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Where is the logic in a “no” vote on 56? The television ads against it focus on the thinking that a “yes” vote will make it easier for Sacramento to raise our taxes. Well, other than budget and tax issues, a simple majority passes all other legislation. In 47 other states they follow the logic that the majority rules on budget issues.

The backers of No on 56 take the rigid stance that there will never be new taxes. I remember the last time there was a major budget crunch in the state. Library hours were cut back, parks closed early, fewer patients were seen at health and mental health clinics, some clinics were closed and roads were not repaired. There was a freeze on hiring child protective service social workers, firefighters and police officers. Where are our priorities? What are our values as a society? Politics is the art of compromise, not rigid thinking.

Joe Palacios

San Gabriel

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