TO THE EDITOR:
The article entitled “Orange County considers upping its tax rate” that appeared on Monday notes that while the county needs to raise additional revenue, officials are reluctant to make the county even less affordable than it currently is by imposing additional financial burdens on less affluent county residents, who already pay one of the highest property tax rates in the state.
One solution to this dilemma would be for the county to abandon the current proportional tax system, in which all property owners pay the same tax rate, in favor of a progressive property tax system that would operate similar to our progressive income tax system.
Under a progressive property tax system, property owners would pay one rate on the first, say, $100,000 of assessed property value, a slightly higher rate on the next $100,000 of assessed value, a still higher rate on the next $100,000 of assessed value, etc.
Changing from a proportional to progressive property tax system would shift some of the tax burden from those who are less able to shoulder it to those who are better able to do so and would make it possible for the county to raise additional revenues without increasing taxes on less affluent households.