Loss of business is sad, but state isn't to blame

March 09, 2010

Dawn Green's story of the demise of her family small business is heartbreaking, but her conclusion that Maryland's tax structure is at fault is puzzling ("Md. loses another small business," March 9). Don't all automotive businesses in Maryland pay the same taxes? Is the playing field not level? Did Maryland taxes cause the global recession or the meltdown of the automotive industry? Did Maryland taxes make cars more reliable, or so complicated that many people choose to use dealerships for specialized services? Are other, successful small garages not paying their taxes?

I'm sure we all can relate to the the pain and sense of loss that Ms. Green feels, and we can excuse her for looking for someone to blame. But the state is no more responsible for the demise of the mom and pop auto shops than it is for the disappearance of stables, blacksmiths and buggywhip makers. If you are looking for someone to blame, blame consumers who demanded more complex, reliable, fuel efficient, lower emission cars, and the manufacturers that provided them.

Mac Nachlas, Baltimore

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