Readers React: 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.

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



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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