Stadium PlansHarry E. Bennett's statement that "a new...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 09, 1992

Stadium Plans

Harry E. Bennett's statement that "a new stadium wasn't in anyone's mind [in 1972]," which was printed in The Sun June 1, is incorrect.

A new stadium was in the minds of people 20 years ago, when Mr. Bennett claims the plans for the light rail line where first presented.

Even as I write this letter, I am looking at a site plan entitled, "A Stadium and Commercial Complex [prepared] for Jerold C. Hoffberger." This site plan was drawn by Harry A. McEwen, a Baltimore architect now living in Tampa, Fla., after being commissioned to do so by the late Carroll Rosenbloom [then the owner of the Baltimore Colts] and me. The date on the drawing is 1969.

The site plan -- which called for the construction of a 65,000-seat football stadium, a 40,000-seat baseball stadium, a transportation center that included a 400-room hotel, a heliport on top of the hotel, a 45,000-square-foot entertainment and food area, a 150,000-square-foot retail area, parking for 4,000 cars and a rapid transit station -- was presented to the Greater Baltimore Committee, the mayor and comptroller of Baltimore City and officials of CSX in 1969.

As indicated on the drawings, the site envisioned is the location of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Jerold C. Hoffberger

Baltimore

The writer was principal owner of the Baltimore Orioles from 1965 to 1979.

Good Policy

In a recent letter, G. Wayne Burgemeister makes a strong case why the drug and alcohol policy now in effect in Baltimore County schools should remain.

As a classroom teacher for 30 years, I must state that the policy is working. To remove or to alter the present drug and alcohol policy would bring to many classroom teachers disruptive problems unimaginable at this time. To change or alter the drug and alcohol policy would be wrong and nonproductive to students and teachers.

Certainly, changes are needed in education. However, as Mr. Burgemeister stated in his letter, the present drug and alcohol policy in Baltimore County schools has allowed teachers to teach free of disruptive behavior. I feel that the majority of county teachers and parents are in support of this policy.

John A. Micklos

Baltimore

Limit Tax Increases

A few thoughts from an average taxpayer on total taxes. After inspecting my property tax bill for 1992, I decided to review my past property tax bills. Since 1987, my property taxes have increased at an annual rate of 8.11 percent. This occurred without any improvements to my property.

It has also come to my attention that the new 60 percent tax rate on income for Montgomery County went into effect on July 1 but that the increase for Prince Georges County was retroactive to Jan. 1. That's an additional 6 percent increase in my annual tax bill over last year.

These taxes are in addition to the higher gasoline taxes, vehicle registration fees and other taxes and user fees, but my salary increases do not always cover increased living expenses caused by inflation, let alone these much-higher-than-inflation tax and fee increases.

It is obvious taxes cannot continue to increase at a faster percentage rate than the salaries of those paying these taxes. It is also obvious that politicians do not consider the total tax bill of their constituents. They only look at their own specific tax base from which their revenues are derived.

They quickly dismiss the additional $200 or $300 the "average taxpayer" must pay as insignificant. However, when added with other tax and user fee additions, the total is thousands of dollars, which is very significant.

Even though my wife and I both work, our standard of living continues to decline because our salary increases are lower than inflation, while at the same time our taxes have been increasing faster than our salaries and faster than inflation.

I would like to see a bill passed by the state legislators which limits the total increase of any tax to the Consumer Price Index or some other recognized inflation indicator. Taxation in excess of salary increases must come to an end.

Robert T. West

Bowie

Housing Needs

Larry Carson's article of June 28, with regard to the need for affordable housing in Baltimore County, requires comment to correct certain statements that could mislead the public.

First of all, the statement that low-income people are beyond local help is a reference to homeownership programs in the current environment.

In point of fact, as the county's comprehensive housing affordability strategy makes clear, the county has set the assistance of very low-income families as a first-level priority.

The county is not building subsidized housing in East Towson. The county's housing development efforts in that neighborhood are geared toward assisting the financing of new construction to create affordable homeownership units.

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