For Proposition 13: Jerzy And Jolanta Lewak
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March 1, 2010 – Jerzy and Jolanta Lewak tell KPBS reporter Joanne Faryon why they voted for Proposition 13 in 1978.
Related story: For Proposition 13: Jerzy And Jolanta Lewak
JERZY LEWAK: My name is Jerzy Lewak. We moved into this house in 1974. We built it ourselves on a lot that we purchased some years before that. We spent about $21,000 for the land and about $50,000 loan. That's the maximum loan we could get at the time and the rest of it we put elbow grease into it. JOANNE FARYON: Did you support Prop 13 at the time? LEWAK: Yes I did. JOLANTA LEWAK: Yeah. FARYON: And why was that? What was it about Prop 13 that you thought was a good thing? JERZY: Just the very fact that if you are in your house you could be driven out of it because it gets beyond your means when the price goes up. And the fact that California is a very desirable place. More and more people want to move in and that drives the prices of houses up and up and up. You know, being taxed on the value of something that you don't really have any use of is just not fair, I don't think. JERZY: I don't know why the government can't raise enough money for schools when it has one of the highest tax rates in the country. The state has one of the highest tax rates in the country. Other states can do that. There's something wrong with the budgeting here and we know that right? We know where the state is financially right now. It's in terrible trouble. FARYON: Del Mar property values have gone sky high. Could you even imagine what your property tax bill would be today if not for Prop 13? JERZY: Yes, I could imagine. It would be one percent of ah. JOLANTA: No, two. JERZY: Ah, what it was valued at a few years ago. Probably a million and a half or something. I don't know what it's value is now, but probably around a million still, maybe nine hundred. Depends on who the buyer is. But, you know, so it would be between ten and fifteen thousand dollars a year. Right? FARYON: Could you pay that? JERZY: It would be very difficult. It would be very difficult. I'm doing too much with what I have, what little I have, and that's why it would be very difficult. JOLANTA: It would be impossible. JERZY: Hmm? JOLANTA: Impossible. JERZY: Impossible. She does the accounts, she knows.