Housing tax idea ugly

Former city manager Dave Kanner’s April 12 opinion piece “Tax Mansions for Basic Housing” suggests an “excise” tax of O.1 percent on all single-family residences valued at $900,000 or more.

Any house worth $900,000 would pay $900; a house worth $890,000 would pay nothing. All good liberals favor progressive taxation, but this tax singles out certain tax payers from all others for a significant tax with a significant minimum amount. This is arbitrary, capricious and divisive. It attempts by words alone to change a property tax into an “excise tax,” which would have the additional vice of making it not deductible from federal income taxes. This proposed tax expressly sets one group against another, and the tenor of Kanner’s article confirms his intent.

This clumsy divisive answer to the need for affordable housing seems unlikely to survive the inevitable legal challenge. I am disappointed with the Tidings for endorsing this as an "elegant solution” and adopting its divisive rationale. It is the antithesis of “elegant;" it is ugly.

Donald K. Felt