Letters to the Editor – Week of Sept. 18

Prop. 13 value cap protects all homeowners

In response to Victoria Byrd’s letter to the Town Crier (“Nix parcel tax and phase out value cap,” Aug 28):

California Proposition 13 was passed by the voters in 1978. The most important part of Proposition 13 is the value cap that limits the amount of increase levied on real property each year. That value cap was passed by voters because thousands of elderly homeowners were being forced out of their homes due to ever-increasing property tax assessments.

Government officials like Byrd have tried for decades to remove the value cap. Not because they think it is unfair to new buyers, but because they see the millions of dollars in “lost” revenue from homes that aren’t turning over.

The Proposition 13 value cap protects every property owner, regardless of how long the property has been owned. Longtime property owners, many of whom are retired and living on a fixed income, can estimate their annual property tax assessment while doing an annual budget. Many new homeowners who are just barely making ends meet during that first few years can rest assured that their annual assessment won’t increase by 10%, 20% or 30%, the way it was prior to Proposition 13 when home values were skyrocketing.

Proposition 13 benefits everyone, whether they’re a longtime owner or a new owner. It is one of the few California laws that works. We shouldn’t try to “fix” something that isn’t broken.

Ken Girdley

Los Altos

Red tape, fees block wildfire protection

Making and storing solar energy at home is the single best way to avoid power outages. It is also the best way to reduce the burden on the grid, so they don’t have to maintain as many power lines in wildfire-prone areas.

But instead of encouraging more people to install solar, the utilities are attacking solar with red tape and extra fees. This is not only bad monopoly behavior, it also makes us all less safe from wildfires and outages.

If the government is serious about preventing wildfires and helping the little guy out, it shouldn’t just throw billions of dollars at the problem, but also protect people’s right to make and store solar energy on their property without utility interference. Let’s increase the freedom of the little guy to protect him- or herself (and also be a part of the solution)!

Katherine Moldow

(No address given)

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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