An Insult to Delaware

September 03, 1995|By ANDREW ROSSETTI

I found your editorial ''The Delaware Bottleneck'' (August 28) both offensive as a native Delawarean and hypocritical as a current Marylander.

If two-way vs. one-way tolls is that pressing an issue, then why not discuss the real ''Maryland Bottlenecks,'' namely the Fort McHenry and Harbor tunnels. These areas are far more aggravating bottlenecks than the toll at the Delaware-Maryland state line, where I have yet to experience more than a three- or four-minute wait, except during of University of Delaware homecomings.

More upsetting than the focus of the article are the implications that Delaware's levy of $1.25 for its stretch of I-95 is ''out of line'' and not frugal.

Since moving to Maryland, I have found numerous things ''out of line,'' including the state's amazingly frustrating, expensive and time-consuming motor-vehicle registration process. In Delaware, a mere $20 and 30 minutes will get your car inspected, registered and emission-checked. Other ''out of line'' items include high taxes at all levels of government in the state, not to mention the sales tax.

As for frugality, for how many years has Maryland had a substantial budget surplus like Delaware's? And when was the last time Maryland cut its state income tax? Delaware has had reg- ular surpluses since the Pete du Pont years in the late 70s. It cut its income tax this year.

Also, has anyone noticed how business is leaving Maryland, often moving to Delaware or Virginia? Can't Maryland learn anything from the mistakes of New York, which lost hundreds of prominent corporations and many jobs to Delaware? It's no accident that Citicorp, Chase, Wachovia, Bank of New York, and Morgan all have significant operations in Delaware.

Your newspaper and the State of Maryland should try to correct some of its many problems before taking unjustified pot-shots at an exceptionally well-run and prosperous state that it should be trying to emulate. If these problems are not corrected, further polarization will occur in the state, and many people will move north; gladly paying $1.25 to a state that cares about its individual and business citizens and doesn't just talk about fixing its problems, but actually does so.

Andrew Rossetti writes from Abingdon.

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