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Would you rather be rich and pay a lot in taxes, or be poor and pay no taxes?

Would you rather be rich and pay a lot in taxes, or be poor and pay no taxes?
Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper's agent said California's high taxes played a role in his decision not to sign with the Dodgers or the Giants. (Yong Kim / Associated Press)

To the editor: Columnist George Skelton claims that California’s tax system is unsustainable because the top 5% of income earners pay two-thirds of all state taxes, while the bottom 80% pay only 11%.

The simple reason for this is that the 5% happen to make most of the money, while the lower 80% of the population is living paycheck to paycheck. The vast majority of taxpayers just aren’t making enough money to pay more in taxes.

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If you had to choose between making a lot of money and paying the tax consequences, or making very little money and paying almost no state taxes, which choice would you make?

S.R. Fischer, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Skelton’s two most recent columns regarding taxes were entertaining and informative, but they failed to inform readers why we have high income and sales taxes: Proposition 13.

Why is it so difficult to make the logical connection between the two? Our property taxation system is badly broken and grossly unjust to new buyers.

Might I suggest a follow-up subject for Skelton’s next column? He should write about the split-role property tax initiative that recently qualified for the 2020 ballot.

John Murphy, Lomita

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