Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

April 18, 2004

Developers threaten historic area, park

We are very concerned about the commercial overdevelopment on Route 1 and the impacts to our lovely county from these thoughtless decisions. ...

We must stop the convenience store/gas station and strip shopping center from being built right next to historic Graystone Lodge, ruining the rural integrity of this site and the taxpayers' investment in Mount Soma parkland. We can save something beautiful here for generations to come.

Robert and Hilda Schnell


Taxes, fees, perks are out of control

To our state officials: Be advised we little people out here in the trenches are being taxed and fee'ed to death.

Raise the sales tax to 15 percent like Europe and eliminate all these nickel and dime charges. A 15 percent tax will hit everyone equally. No one and no business will be allowed an exemption. Everybody pays, and that includes religious activities inclusive of the preachers. ...

Currently we pay:

Telephone: land-line federal tax, 94 cents; local 911, 25 cents; outbound 99, 50 cents; Maryland franchise tax, 52 cents; universal access charge, 20 cents; FCC line charge, $5.76; local number portability, 23 cents; universal, 52 cents.

Wireless: state 911, 25 cents; federal tax, 86 cents; sales tax, $1.42; universal connectivity charge, 69 cents; 911 surcharge, 50 cents.

BGE utilities, electric: Maryland universal progressive charge, 37 cents; state surcharge, 5 cents; franchise tax, 21 cents.

BGE utilities, gas: distribution charge, $13.38; franchise tax, 30 cents.

Baltimore Sunday paper tax, 28 cents.

Add 31.08 cents per gallon for gasoline; Comcast cable, $1.63.

You want to buy a home? 15 taxes and fees total approximately $6,500 for a $100,000 home.

And now a flush tax, even on a septic tank. Why do I have to pay to clean up the bay while the polluters all walk free? And while you are at it, repeal the state provisions allowing the purchase of a home with poor credit. No job, income as child support and alimony. Ask the property taxing authorities to tell you the truth -- how many HUD homes in default?

In Europe, to buy a home requires a job sufficient to pay the mortgage plus normal living expenses, and down payment, usually 20 percent or more.

Bureau of Support enforcement is really a big spender, all kind of free support via State Social Services. Intake counselors process 12 to 15 applications daily -- debt card for food, cash assistance, pharmacy and medical care. Those who qualify get rental assistance and preference from BGE.

I lived on an Indian reservation near Sparks, Nev., and walked eight miles to school in Reno. At 4,400 feet elevation, it can get cold. Try elimination of school buses, or at least curtailing some.

All local, county and state employees should use their own personal transportation to report to work and to get home from work. I see state license plates at the Inner Harbor, at the opera, in grocery store parking lots. ... No wonder Maryland is deep in the red.

I have recommendations (learned in the military) that will implement significant savings in administration, inventory, transportation management and contracting. Yours for the asking. ...

Burrell Porter


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