(Guest Commentary by Robert Phipps – 3/28/11)
Michael Teahan makes me think of a politician: someone always looking for a lot of easy, quick money they can take from a small group and “buy” popularity by spreading it out to a larger group.
Teahan says we need good schools, libraries, parks, and other services—and he’s right. But his facile politician’s way to pay for them is to make homeowners pay higher property taxes (“Proposition 13 is not making things better,” March 27).
Proposition 13 was passed because elderly homeowners—with fixed incomes and no time left to start over—were being forced out of their homes by escalating property taxes. When the choice became food or taxes, healthcare or taxes, heat or taxes, the outcome was sealed and the people lost their homes.
These were people who had worked all their lives, and done everything they were supposed to, to contribute to society; and because of political greed for quick, big money, were forced to sell their homes. It was as if there were no fixed-rate loans; only adjustable-rate loans, and we have seen how many people have lost their homes to those.
Teahan feels guilty because he can afford a house in a better school district—but he bought it anyway. He wants all homeowners to pay more taxes, but feels “soaked,” having to pay $9,000 more taxes than the previous homeowner—a transaction he entered voluntarily, knowing in advance the costs and his financial status. In other words, he wants other people to pay more taxes, but not himself.
If Teahan has so much guilt and so much money (for a house presumably costing more than $1million), then let him take a bunch of his excess money and donate it to his pet causes, and stop trying to displace senior citizens to force them to do it.
Note: Robert Phipps maybe contacted via this blog.