Letters: Tax bill critics | Bill is sound investment | Renaming schools |

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Beware the motivesof tax bills’ critics

Re: Opinion: Costly split-roll initiative won’t deliver promised revenues.

The California Legislative Analyst has said that the measure on the Nov. 3 ballot to close the property tax loophole exploited for more than 40 years by large commercial businesses will yield up to $12 billion in new revenue for schools and communities — in disagreement with the East Bay Times commentary by the assessors of Santa Clara and San Bernardino counties.

Now that COVID-19 threatens to blow a hole in school and local government budgets, the revenue to be obtained by passing the measure, known as Schools and Communities First, will be more important than ever for the survival of K-12 schools and local governments. Voters need to be wary of the motives of advice-givers, whether they are assessors, realtors or popular former mayors.

Ruby MacDonaldEl Cerrito

Even by critics’ numbers,split-roll delivers

The commentary of Larry Stone and Bob Dutton claiming that the split-roll Initiative won’t deliver revenues (“Costly Split-Roll Initiative won’t deliver,” June 28) is wrong.

First, even by their own calculations, it might cost $1 billion to implement an initiative that promises $12.5 billion in additional revenue. Even if it costs twice as much, it would still be a great investment.

Secondly, assessing business property isn’t that difficult. Businesses have financial statements that claim a value for their properties. They also claim a value if they have applied for a loan or if they are public companies like Disney. Assessors could simply have companies submit their own financial statements and accept that value to start, as assessors ramp up to actually assess property as they did every year until 1978.

The value to California will be huge, for education and to insure our finances. We can even reduce income taxes if we tax properties of corporations at their value.

Michael StrimlingHayward

Renaming schoolswon’t alter history

Some school districts are considering changing the names of schools named after Washington or Jefferson because the two presidents had slaves. You cannot erase history by changing names or tearing down statues. Shall we change names of the state of Washington and Washington, D.C., or destroy the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial?

Misguided district directors may be surprised to learn that both presidents advocated emancipation. As a congressman, Jefferson proposed legislation to ban slavery in our western territories. As presidents, they both feared the risk of civil war and remained cautious about emancipation.

Those directors should ask how they can give students the best education possible. Does their curriculum meet today’s needs? Do we teach tolerance? Do we have the counselors and…

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