Tax Churches - and Other Ideas from Readers
Editor: I've been following with interest the public commentary on the need for new taxes.
It occurs to me that Maryland has missed out on a very significant revenue source because of the tax exemption given to religions.
It is time for the churches to pay their fair share for use of roads, police and fire protection and all the other free benefits they get for nothing.
It's time the churches got off the dole.
Herb Butler. Perry Hall.
Editor: The public is constantly scared to believe vital services will be lost if the state budget is cut. So instead of spending cuts, we get the food snack tax and increased MVA fees. The plain fact is that whenever you raise taxes or fees on services, the government's appetite continues to grow to spend more dollars.
Heavy taxes are more than a burden to the taxpayers. We should seek ways to reduce spending and cut the budget and not pander to all the special interest groups wanting to spend tax dollars on their favorite programs.
The last thing we need is more of the same old tax-and-spend medicine we always see prescribed for the ailments of the state's fiscal problems.
Howard Feldstein. Cumberland.
Editor: Citizens who are dependent on financial and medical aid as well as foster-care programs are being abandoned by our state government. A very large percent of these citizens are children.
In addition, public safety cuts are a travesty in any society that still has homicide high on the list of cause of death, where drugs are bought and sold like free enterprise and where the easy access to arms is allowing criminals to commit crime with weapons that aren't traceable.
A progressive state income tax could easily pay for state health insurance and most of the cuts made.
Amy L. Taylor. Baltimore.
Editor: As a long-term Baltimore City resident and homeowner, I have been forced to pay high taxes, high automobile insurance rates, face a high crime rate, be exposed to constant air pollution and see city children attend a poor school system.
Since my neighboring counties pay a lower property tax and have a lower crime rate and excellent schools, I believe that the budget problems could easily be solved. This could be done by simply making the entire state pay the same property tax rate as the residents of Baltimore City. Hey, one state should have one rate.
enry Burchacki Baltimore.
Editor: Another educator laments the loss of funds for higher education in Maryland. William E. Kirwan, president of the University of Maryland at College Park, is right when he states that ''there is no distinguished American university that was not so described in 1950.'' So where has the University of Maryland been for the last 40 years?
I'm surprised the president didn't refer to John Toll and and his claims about Maryland's progress. After years and years of promises and tales about the accomplishments of public higher education, residents get tired of listening to false hopes that ''this time'' we're really going to do something.
If we didn't have secret meetings, unprofessional conduct involving turf battles, increased salaries for presidents, low student qualifications, a parochial board of regents and a hike in tuition, perhaps the higher education establishment would gain more public sympathy.
Maryland educators come and go, funds rise and fall, but we get the same buzzwords day after day, year after year -- flagship, critical mass, on the move, etc. And when the ratings come out, Maryland is right there at average.
D. Bush. Columbia.
Editor: I enjoyed reading your article on the alleged effect of the drought of this past summer on the color change of the leaves during this autumn season.
It has been my experience that Mother Nature cannot always be held to an exact scientific certitude and that she can perform wonders which defy and really need no explanation.
My layman's recollection is that during the last prolonged dry spell, the summer of 1986, the effect if any on the changing of the leaves was just the opposite -- the autumn leaves were even more resplendent.
& Richard J. Kolish. Baltimore.
Only a Fool
Editor: I really support Michael Olesker's columns concerning guns in America. I know Mr. Olesker will be vilified but more individuals need to speak out on this subject.
I would like to go a step further and say I believe the National Rifle Association is one of the most dangerous organizations in this country. It is a legitimate organization that remains an uncompromising obstacle in the attempt to limit the proliferation of firearms.
Life is becoming much more complex and therefore more stressful. Violence is commercially acceptable and perceived as normal by a growing number of citizens.
And what do we add to this mix? More firearms than there are people.
Only a fool would refuse to admit the type of future we are facing with this insane combination.