Senator Van de Putte 'Distressed' by Endorsement

RECEIVED Mon., Oct. 21, 2013

Dear Editor,
    I am extremely distressed by your “No” endorsement on Proposition 4 on the November 5 ballot [“'Chronicle' Endorsements,” Oct. 18]. Your endorsement board seems to be highly misinformed about this amendment. You wrote, “this amendment is more about incentivizing ‘charitable’ giveaways (for corporate tax write-offs) than supporting veterans.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
    The purpose of this amendment is straightforward: Disabled veterans have sometimes received homes tailored to their accessibility needs from charitable organizations, only to find themselves losing those homes due to inability to pay the property taxes. After receiving such a wonderful (and deserved) gift, having it then taken away by foreclosure just seems like a cruel, sick joke — so we have proposed a tax exemption relative to the veteran’s level of disability (i.e., 70% disability receives a 70% exemption).
    As the chair of the Senate Veteran Affairs & Military Installations Committee and the sponsor of the enabling legislation for Prop. 4, I can assure you that helping disabled veterans stay in their homes was our sole consideration, and corporate concerns never entered our discussions. (Although I am baffled as to why you think incentivizing donations to those who made terrible, painful sacrifices protecting our nation is a bad thing.)
    I sincerely hope that you will consider reversing your endorsement and urging a “Yes” vote on Proposition 4. If this amendment fails, it will be a horrible insult to our nation’s heroes.
Senator Leticia Van de Putte
(D-San Antonio)
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