Assessing Proposition 13
EDITOR: Having read Conor Friedersdorf’s commentary in Sunday’s Forum section (“Prop 13: California’s tax revolt turns 40”), I must correct some opinions.
As a boomer who was fortunate enough to grow up in then-rural Sonoma County, I remember the fear of losing our home to taxation when a grass-roots effort began in the 1970s. People here were worried about government overreach. Consumer taxes were just beginning to go up, and 7-10 percent annual increases in property taxes weren’t out of the question when Californians said enough in 1978.
Since that time, I’ve witnessed government circumvent Proposition 13 through bond measures. I presently have nine added payments on my property taxes. People forget that if a property is a rental home or apartment, that cost is translated to increased rent.
We all pay for tax increases one way or the other. True inflation (including food and fuel) has increased aggressively since the 2007-08 crash. Please don’t gloss over the facts that make living in Sonoma County extremely difficult.
WENDY WOOD HAYNES
GOP denying coverage
EDITOR: Republicans think insurance companies should once again be able to deny coverage or charge outrageous premiums because of a pre-existing condition (“Risky strategy in health care fight,” June 8).
In the Republicans’ tax cut bill last year was a provision effectively repealing the individual mandate by eliminating the fine for failing to carry insurance. Now, in a case filed by Texas and 19 other states in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth, Republicans argue that all of the Affordable Care Act and the regulations issued under it are invalid.
And last week, the Republican attorney general, Jeff Sessions, sent a letter to congressional leaders notifying them that in this case he wouldn’t defend the constitutionality of the individual mandate or the requirement for insurers to sell insurance to all applicants at standard rates.
If this case is successful, millions of Americans will lose their health insurance or no longer be able to afford the premiums.
I would be curious to hear from local Republicans how they plan to defend denying health coverage to millions of Americans come November. And I urge anyone concerned about health care to vote for Democrats in the upcoming state and federal elections.
EDITOR: I am disgusted by the self-serving attempt by lawyers representing Sonoma County lawyers to immunize sheriff’s Sgt. Erick Gelhaus from civil liability in the Andy Lopez case (“High court weighs Andy Lopez shooting,” Monday). Their petition to the U.S. Supreme Court is based on the absurd assumption that Andy refused to drop his weapon.
This action by my county doesn’t speak for me and merely perpetuates the prevailing prejudice of leniency toward law enforcement in cases of excessive force.
My opinion of the Supreme Court is pretty low, but I hope they throw this one out.
PIETER S. MYERS
EDITOR: PG&E is once again being faulted for violating state law by failing to trim trees near power lines, with criminal prosecution a possibility. It wouldn’t be the first time.