Poe's legacy deserves our respect, not our tax dollars

February 14, 2011

Rather than fighting to save Baltimore's Poe House museum ("Twain House director: Poe House can be saved," Feb. 12), a better way to remember the author's homes is to compile a book about them; after all, he only lived at the Poe House in Baltimore for three years. There must be a dozen other residences he enjoyed; Philadelphia claims him too. At a time when there are not enough funds for classroom supplies, we should be slow to remove any property from the real estate tax base; we are a city of churches, all of which are exempt from property taxes. We should be expanding our tax base, not seeking to continue the less popular museums.

Many of our presidents' former homes are not museums. We should favor a statue here and there, like former Gov. William Donald Schaefer's, instead of creating ongoing public expenses. Mr. Schaefer lived for over 60 years in West Baltimore, should that rowhouse come off the tax rolls?

Just put up a plaque that says "Lincoln slept here," or whatever the case may be. Most every icon had a dozen or more homes, and the brief love affair Poe had with Baltimore commends our respect but not our tax base.

Mike Schaefer, Baltimore

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