Making workers work harder can be good

April 14, 1997|By GEORGE NILSON

IN YOUR EDITORIAL of April 3 ("Taxing taxpayers at tax time"), you criticized a pending legislative proposal that would require Maryland taxpayers to sign two checks when they pay their state and local piggyback taxes -- one to the state and one to the local jurisdiction that is imposing and receiving the piggyback taxes.

The laudatory purpose of this legislation is to ensure that Maryland taxpayers know and understand when they send in their money that their local subdivisions are taxing their income -- in the hope that this will increase the local government's level of fiscal responsibility and taxpayer responsiveness when they set their local piggyback tax rates and develop their spending plans.

Your editorial describes this as, ''Good idea in theory. Bad idea in practice.''

Your editorial writer appears to rely on the perennial administrative/bureaucratic lament of the comptroller's office that this would mean ''more work for them.'' With all due respect to our wonderful comptroller, his office is notorious when it comes to telling legislators that various pieces of legislation will make their work harder or more difficult (and supposedly more expensive).

Sometimes good ideas require government employees to work a little harder. That is the way of the world. You missed the boat in editorializing against a good idea just because a state agency said it would have to work a little harder to implement it.

George A. Nilson


The writer is president of the Baltimore Homeowners' Coalition.

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