Letters to the Editor – Week of Aug. 28

Nix parcel tax and phase out value cap

Should we be phasing out the assessed value cap of Proposition 13 to raise revenue instead of adding a parcel tax? (“CUSD parcel tax headed to November ballot,” Aug. 7).

I work in the Santa Clara County Office of the Assessor. I speak to people frequently about their property taxes. If the Proposition 13 value cap was intended to help everyone, I can say with confidence that it has failed.

The value cap effectively shifts the tax burden to whoever bought last.

New buyers are often young people starting families. Asking them to pay an additional parcel tax to support their children’s schools is unconscionable given that they are already bearing the brunt of the county’s tax burden.

How can California, a state that prides itself on being a progressive leader, support something so breathtakingly unfair as this particular element of Proposition 13?

Here’s one idea for phasing out the value cap: When a property sells, it is no longer subject to the value cap. This would leave new buyers in the same position they are in now, but their property taxes would not be artificially suppressed in subsequent years. Existing owners can keep their restricted values until they sell or pass away, or give up them up voluntarily.

Phasing out the value cap would put us on track for better-funded schools, and put an end to an incredibly unfair element of the law.

Victoria Byrd

Los Altos

5G would be ‘worst of both worlds’

I would like to offer the following response to the letter to the editor regarding cellphone repeaters (“With cellphones, it bears repeating,” Aug. 14).

With cellphone radio frequency (RF) radiation, how close you are to the source is more important than the power level of the radiation. RF radiation dissipates rapidly with distance. Compared to earlier versions (1G, 2G, 3G and 4G), which is 1-6 GHz frequency, 5G is 24-90 GHz and is more powerful. But higher frequencies do not travel as far, so mini cell towers (repeaters) will be positioned every two to eight houses.

5G will be the worst of both worlds. We will have more sources around us, close to us, and they will have more powerful, continuous high-frequency emissions.

Peter Gise, Ph.D. (electrical engineering)

Los Altos

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