Every time someone suggests a way to change the tax code in California — as UCLA finance and economics professor Ivo Welch did in The Times — there seems to be a slew of letters from older folks complaining about how they would be forced to move out of their homes. ("The trade-offs of a saner California tax system," Opinion, June 14)
What is missing from this debate, though, is the impact on younger families. In trying to buy a house, we younger people have to face the reality that we will be paying far more than our fair share in property tax, largely due to a system that we were not able (or alive) to vote for in 1978.
I pay 10 times the property tax as my older neighbors, who were able to vote for Proposition 13 and have benefited greatly from it. We both have houses and lots that are the same size, and we both receive the same city services.
It is the younger members of society who are subsidizing the older members through this tax scheme.
While Proposition 13 did a great job of reducing taxes on residential homes, it did nothing to find another source of funds to support public schools.
Before Proposition 13, public school systems in California were fueled by billions of dollars primarily from property tax assessments; when that source of money dried up after 1978, the educational system's quality plummeted. Thanks to Proposition 13, California's public schools have become a tragic disgrace.
Bring back Howard Jarvis and have him finish his rewrite of California's tax law by securing funding to keep the schools performing at their pre-Proposition 13 levels.