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Opinion

Readers React: We have a wealth tax — it’s called a property tax, and it hits the middle class hard

Democratic Presidential Candidates Attend Forum On Wages And Working People
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, seen speaking at an event in Las Vegas in April, has called for a wealth tax.
(Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

To the editor: Michael Hiltzik reminds us that Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, proposes a small-percentage tax on the wealth of the richest 0.1% of Americans.

We already have a wealth tax on the primary asset of the middle class; it’s called the property tax, and it’s determined based on the value of one’s residence.

Unjustly, middle-class homeowners pay this wealth tax on the full value of their home, not on the portion they actually own. Even worse, the wealth tax on property hits those who own no property, as landlords pass the cost of this assessment onto renters — so renters pay the tax on their landlord’s wealth.

For the sake of at least a little economic justice, a tax on the value of the assets of the wealthiest is long overdue.

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Bob Gerecke, Claremont

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To the editor: The wealth in this country is owned by a relatively few individuals and it needs to be better distributed. But I disagree that putting that money in the coffers of our government is going to accomplish that goal.

I’m just a reasonable working guy, but I bet the wealthy have their money invested in instruments that earn them the highest return possible. Investing in stocks drives the businesses that drive the economy.

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Any money the wealthy spend on anything should be applauded and encouraged, for this is the only means they have of fueling the economy.

Kevin Wells, Oxnard

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