Clarifying Prop 13 effects
Re: “Homeowner revolt is one answer to runway plan” (Argonaut letters, April 4).
I agree with the writer who said that the Los Angeles International Airport runway’s air traffic would impact the value of all homes in that area if the LAX runway was moved north. I didn’t understand her comment however, “why pay these Westside property taxes, especially those of us who bought in after Proposition 13?”
A little background on Prop 13: before Prop 13, people never knew from one year to the next what their property taxes would be. The average tax rate was 3 percent of assessed value and there was no limit on annual increases. Local governments subjectively established their own tax rates. As home prices sky-rocketed, many people (especially the elderly) lost their homes because they were unable to pay the taxes on the inflated value of their homes.
The people revolted and Prop 13 became a state constitutional amendment in 1978, limiting property taxes. Now the property tax rate starts at 1 percent of the purchase price of your home and limits tax increases to 2 percent per year. This means that when you buy a home, you know whether you can afford it even in the future.
You may pay more taxes than your neighbor who bought their home years before you, but just wait, your time will come. Fast-forward and you’ll be paying less than your new neighbor, who will be complaining about you. Prop 13 protects past, present and future homebuyers when houses in the neighborhood sell for two or three times what you paid. Property taxes may even be reduced if the market value of your home becomes less than your purchase price (perhaps due to an airport runway?).
Beware of politicians and others who are attempting to overturn the critical taxpayer protection contained in Prop 13 that requires special local taxes to be approved by two-thirds of the voters. They want to require only a simple majority of 55 percent, which would make it easier to pass parcel taxes that attach to your property bill above Prop 13’s one-percent cap. Though renters and homeowners alike get to vote, only property owners pay.
Carol Katona

A question of representation
Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl is mandated to store confiscated belongings for 90 days and has chosen the street services yard on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, after he was unsuccessful at Extra Space Storage for reasons described below. This program started in skid row, where belongings are routinely left unattended or abandoned because of arrest, hospitalization, etc. An outbreak of tuberculosis necessitated the destruction of many of these belongings.
For the last few months, Rosendahl and his field deputy have been hell bent on finding a place at Abbot Kinney and Venice boulevards for this program, right in the middle of million-dollar homes and condos, a thriving night and day scene, and thousands of residents and businesses. Many of these surrounding residents and businesses have expressed their strong objection to this program being instituted at the street yard on Abbot Kinney – there are already people camping out there nightly.
People coming to retrieve their belongings are going to be camping out all over waiting to be able to claim them, which will only be two days a week for a couple of hours (with police assistance). This program wasn’t even run by the Venice Neighborhood Council to have constituents be able to voice their opinion as to the best place to put it.
Rosendahl did the same thing with the container program over the winter. Going around the neighborhood council, he plopped a huge container right on Venice Beach for hundreds of thousands of tourists to see – which by the way lacked the proper coastal permit.
What does it take to have Rosendahl listen to his constituents? I’m beginning to think that his and a few others’ personal opinions about how best to serve the homeless are getting in the way of sound judgments of how best to represent the people of Venice.
Daryl Barnett

A loss for the Marina
Re: “Shop closing marks end of an era for boating community” (Argonaut, April 11).
I am not a boater, but I am and have been in love with Marina del Rey since it was mostly a twinkle in some supervisor’s eye when I moved to Los Angeles in 1962.
I’ve watched it and walked it all these years; written letters to the editor of this great little newspaper as I attended meetings trying to help groups, who were desperately trying to have someone listen to their input as to how to upgrade and improve without killing this wonderful Marina.
It didn’t work, and as I’ve said many times, our Marina is simply being paved up to and out over the water as it disappears and is just a concrete extension of the city.
Pat Reynolds and Capt. Richard Schaefer, whom he quotes, put it far more eloquently than I could when the article equated the closing of the Ships Store (and you could apply that to Edie’s Diner, et al.) to: (1) a corporate heart…un-compassionate – cold; (2) “To see the sign hanging crookedly” to “…a clear sign that progress harbors no sentimentality;” and (3) “What price is this ‘progress?” I fear this never-ending pursuit of greater development and higher monetary returns will profit us little, and cost Marina del Rey another piece of its soul…and we haven’t much left to spend.”
A wonderful article about a terrible happening, the killing of Marina del Rey. My condolences to all of us.
Roslyn E. Walker
Marina del Rey

A petition for fighting runway movement
On Wednesday, April 24, the Los Angeles City Council will vote on whether or not to move the Los Angeles International Airport north runway 260 feet closer to Westchester-Playa del Rey homes, businesses, schools and churches. Lincoln Boulevard also could be closed for up to two years causing gridlock in our neighborhoods. Right now, the City Council is inclined to vote for Alternative 1 (260 feet north) unless they hear from outraged citizens to vote for the environmentally superior alternative, Alternative 2, which will make airfield safety improvements, but will not move the north runway.
City Council members Bill Rosendahl and Eric Garcetti do not support moving the north runway to the north. Most of our community organizations, including the Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa and Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion support Alternative 2 and Alternative 9, which will build a consolidated rental car garage, an automated people mover and bring the Metro Green Line into the Central Terminal Area. We can modernize LAX without expanding LAX into the surrounding communities.
We need to pressure the other City Council members to vote for Alternatives 2 and 9. Please do your part. The home you save may be your own.
Robert Acherman
Vice President
Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion