Taxing nonprofits will hurt the city and the people they...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 13, 2001

Taxing nonprofits will hurt the city and the people they serve

While Baltimore may be grappling with a financial shortfall, looking to nonprofits as a revenue source is a misguided, short-sighted approach ("Nonprofit tax in bad faith, clergy say," May 6).

Nonprofits provide critical services to Baltimore for less than it would cost if for-profits or government itself had to provide those services.

Add to that the private, charitable funds they bring in and the jobs and indirect revenue they produce (such as the taxes our employees and clients pay and the money they put into the local economy), and the end result is that government comes out way ahead.

Throughout Maryland, local governments are supplementing the state and federal funds dedicated to services for people with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. For the city to move in the opposite direction, by imposing a tax, will ultimately hurt not only the helpers, but those they help.

We may have people leaving the city to get away from crime and grime. We do not also want them leaving to get to needed services in jurisdictions where charitable organizations' limited resources are not further cut by an ill-advised tax policy.

Stephen H. Morgan, Baltimore

The writer is executive director of the Baltimore Association for Retarded Citizens Inc.

Paying higher taxes helps city build a brighter future

I moved to this city in February 1999 because I saw the great history and even greater promise that this city holds. But to make the promise come true, hard work and sacrifice must be undertaken.

My first year in this city, my car was broken into three times and vandalized twice. Murders were at an all-time high and Jay Leno was making fun of then-mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and this city.

Since then, crime in my neighborhood has decreased. New businesses have started to crop up. A few abandoned buildings have been bought and renovated.

Mayor Martin O'Malley is asking for our help to continue this trend by increasing taxes ("Taxes are investment in Baltimore's future," Opinion* Commentary, May 7).

Some are complaining. But it's time to accept the burden to make this city great again. Paying a higher tax is part of our responsibility to the future.

It's time to stop being critics and become contributors to Baltimore's future.

Stephen Gearhart, Baltimore

Investing in high taxes hasn't improved the city

If, as Mayor Martin O'Malley says, "taxes are an investment in Baltimore's future" and Baltimore City already taxes property at a rate more than twice that of Baltimore County, why haven't these investments paid double the return of Baltimore County's taxes in terms of our quality of life ("Taxes are investment in Baltimore's future," Opinion*Commentary, May 7)?

And why would the county invest less in itself by cutting taxes?

Dan Harvey, Baltimore

Sketch on letters page falsifies Mideast situation

I was dismayed to see a cartoon in The Sun's April 30 letters section that was Arab propaganda.

The cartoon depicted an Israeli soldier in uniform with an automatic rifle and an Arab in rags holding a rock. The picture is a complete lie.

The Palestinians have plenty of weapons, which they use with impunity. They are vicious enough to shoot into a school bus, shoot at passengers in cars and set off bombs wherever they will inflict the most damage to human life.

They pick up rocks when cameras are near so they can win world sympathy.

The Sun should be more discerning in its political cartoons. I want the truth, not lies.

Selma Pollack, Baltimore

Energy policy prompts memories of Hoover

So the White House has ruled out any short-term intervention by President Bush to help motorists ("No quick fix for gasoline price planned," May 8).

I recall another president who ushered in a memorable decade by declining to seek a "quick fix" for economic problems. His name was Herbert Hoover.

Jack Bond, Timonium

How can black officers work with racist colleagues?

In Paul Butler's disturbing article "Problem of mistrust" (April 29) no mention was made of black police officers.

How can they work knowing white police officers are guilty of the rampant racial profiling described by Mr. Butler?

B. J. Small, Baltimore

If we ban Confederate flag, Stars and Stripes may be next

I was so happy to read the letter "Affirm everyone's heritage" (May 5). Yes, I find it "objectionable" that any flag of any state is protested. And I keep wondering what will be next after the Confederate flag is removed.

Will we start hearing that our old "Stars and Stripes" is racist?

After all, that is the flag that was on many ships bringing slaves to the United States way before the Confederate flag was ever thought of.

I do not approve of slavery of any kind. I just wish that all people could try to get along and leave the past behind.

People of today are not responsible for what happened in the 1700s and 1800s and, in a new millennium, it would be nice if we could respect one another and the heritage of all.

Kathy Riley, Baltimore

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