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How to Write a Letter to the Editor about Proposition 13

You can make a difference by writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper in support of Prop. 13 and against recent proposals to repeal portions of this critical taxpayer protection. Use your own words and share what Proposition 13 means to you and your community. The points below are provided as a guide.

Please keep in mind that most newspapers limit published letters to no more than 250 words. You will find mail and e-mail addresses for major California newspapers at the bottom of this page.  

Proposition 13 benefits all Californians and has saved many from losing their homes.

Prior to the adoption of Proposition 13, California’s raging inflation had sent property tax bills in California soaring so high that many families had to sell their homes because they could not afford to pay their taxes.

Following the passage of Proposition 13, the average homeowner has saved tens of thousands of dollars in property tax payments, money that was able to be spent in the economy to create jobs and foster economic development.

Proposition 13 stabilized revenue in California.

Proposition 13 benefits state and local governments by providing a predictable flow of revenue. The volatility of income and sales tax revenue to the state and local governments is a major flaw in California’s tax system, while Proposition 13 has rendered California’s property taxes as a stable and predictable source of public revenue, even during economic downturns, which has provided a major benefit to local governments throughout California.

California’s taxes are already among the highest in the nation, and government waste is a major problem.

California’s sales taxes and personal income taxes are rated as the highest in the nation by the Tax Foundation. Our gas tax is second highest and corporate taxes are the highest in the West. And even with Proposition 13, California property taxes are not low, ranking 19th highest in the nation.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association’s Follow the Money Report has documented billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse in California state government, including such examples as $194 million in uncollected bills at the state toxics agency, $848 million in overpayments by the CalWORKs program and $80 million in illegal money transfers. Why should we raise taxes if government cannot spend responsibly the money it already receives?

Save California jobs! “Split roll” property tax would raise taxes by $6 billion and kill hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Some people have suggested raising taxes by eliminating Proposition 13 protections for businesses, which they call a “split-roll property tax,” but a recent Pepperdine University study concluded that such a plan would raise taxes by $6 billion.

The cost to the California economy of this property tax increase would total $71.8 billion of lost output and 396,345 lost jobs over the first five years of a split-roll property tax scheme.

The cost of a split roll would be especially damaging to small and minority-owned businesses. These business owners typically lease their properties and would be faced with rent increases when tax increases are passed on by their landlords.

Mail and E-mail Addresses for Major California Newspapers

Sacramento Region

NameAddressContactCirculation
Sacramento Bee2100 Q St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
viewpoints@sacbee.com346,000
The Daily Democrat711 Main St.
Woodland, CA 95695
news@dailydemocrat.com11,000
Mountain Democrat2889 Ray Lawyer Dr.
Placerville, CA 95667
Click here for letter submittal form.15,000
Auburn Journal1030 High St.
Auburn, CA 95603
ajournal@goldcountrymedia.com13,000

San Francisco Bay Area

NameAddressContactCirculation
San Francisco Chronicle901 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Click here for letter submittal form.424,000
Contra Costa Times175 Lennon Ln., Suite 100
Walnut Creek, CA 94598
dhatfield@bayareanewsgroup.com194,000
Oakland Tribune1970 Broadway, Suite 100
Oakland, CA 94612
kpfrommer@bayareanewsgroup.com67,000
San Francisco Examiner835 Market St., Suite 550
San Francisco, CA 94103-1906
dhussey@sfexaminer.com62,000

Central Coast

NameAddressContactCirculation
Ventura County StarP.O. Box 6006
Camarillo, CA 93011-6006
letters@vcstar.com103,730
Santa Barbara News-PressP.O. Box 1359
Santa Barbara, CA 93102
voices@newspress.com27,576
The TribuneP.O. Box 112
San Luis Obispo, CA 93406
letters@thetribunenews.com39,880
Santa Barbara Independent122 W. Figueroa St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3106
letters@independent.com135,000
(weekly)

Central Valley

NameAddressContactCirculation
Stockton RecordP.O. Box 900
Stockton, CA 95201
editor@recordnet.com60,000
Fresno Bee1626 E St.
Fresno, CA 93786-0001
Click here for letter submittal form.157,456
Modesto Bee1325 H St.
Modesto, CA 95354-2427
Click here for letter submittal form.86,000
Bakersfield CalifornianP.O. Box 440
Bakersfield, CA 93302-0440
Click here for letter submittal form.70,000

Los Angeles County

NameAddressContactCirculation
Los Angeles Times202 W. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012-4299
Click here for letter submittal form.983,000
Santa Monica Daily Press1640 5th St., Suite 218
Santa Monica, CA 90401-3325
ross@smdp.com8,000
Los Angeles Daily News21860 Burbank Blvd., Suite 200
Woodland Hills, CA 91367-7439
dnforum@dailynews.com441,000
Long Beach Press-Telegram727 Pine Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90813-4321
speakout@presstelegram.com85,000

Other Southern California

NameAddressContactCirculation
Orange County Register625 N. Grand Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92701-4347
letters@ocregister.com276,881
San Diego Union-TribuneP.O. Box 120191
San Diego, CA 92112-0191
letters@uniontrib.com296,331
Riverside Press Enterprise1825 Chicago Ave., Suite 100
Riverside, CA 92507-2373
Click here for letter submittal form.149,608
San Bernardino Sun290 N. D St., Suite 102
San Bernardino, CA 92401-1734
opinions@inlandnewspapers.com177,000

To find contact information for other California newspapers, visit www.usnpl.com.