Reform Prop. 13

 close the prop13 loophole“We need to fix Proposition 13” writes member Ruby MacDonald recently in the Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times June 5, 2015, pointing out a gross mis-statement of  anti-tax  campaigner Ken Hambrick. Here is her letter.

In his recent opinion piece in the Times, Ken Hambrick, chairman of the Alliance of Contra Costa Taxpayers, wrote that the “average family pays more in taxes today than for food, clothing and shelter combined.”

Actually, the middle fifth or median of California families paid 8.2 percent of its income in state and local taxes in 2014, according to the nonpartisan California Budget and Policy Center, and about 17 percent of its income in federal income taxes.

Is it likely such a family spent 25 percent of its income ($17,000) on taxes, 25 percent or less of its income on food, shelter and clothing ($17,000) and blew the rest ($34,000)?

For almost 40 years, frightening misstatements like Hambrick’s have helped spawn unwise and unfair tax measures to give Californians poorly funded schools, social services, health-care systems, criminal-justice systems and maintenance of roads and other infrastructure.

It’s time those measures — e.g., Proposition 13 — were fixed to reshape a California that benefits all of us now and in a future challenged by climate change and global warming.

Read her letter on line at


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