Letters to the Editor

Budget solution: Close loopholes

In regard to the governor's State of the State speech and the looming budget shortfall: He and the other Republican politicians want to address this problem by simply instituting across-the-board cuts in state spending, with absolutely no tax increases.

But what about the tax side of this equation? Dan Walters wrote ("Proposition 13 started California down slippery slope to enormous deficits," Jan. 6, modbee.com) about many of the loopholes that exist in the state tax code, such as the rescinding of sales tax when purchasing a luxury yacht. Walters states that billions could be added to the state treasury by simply closing some of these tax loopholes.

I agree that a permanent solution to the perennial budget shortfalls needs to be found. Some cuts are necessary; perhaps reducing the size of the education department bureaucracy in Sacramento would be a good start. But I don't think the budget shortfall should be balanced on the backs of the schoolchildren or programs for the working poor by simply instituting broad budget cuts. There is certainly room for the closing of some tax loopholes, and this is not a tax increase, just a readjustment of fairness.

STEVE BANTLY

Merced

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