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NEWS
November 8, 2011
I am troubled by the assumption of PlanMaryland opponents that they have an inalienable and eternal right to our tax dollars to support their high maintenance and energy consumption lifestyle. The purpose of the PlanMaryland legislation, like smart growth before it, is to withhold state funding for bad choices about how and where to live made by local government. If they persist in turning cornfields into vinyl McMansions, they shouldn't do it on my tax dollars. It's bad enough that any corporate functionary should get a mortgage interest deduction for living in a house with a profligate carbon footprint and commute on roads newly built on some of the best farmland on the planet.
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NEWS
March 22, 2014
Who in local and state government is in charge of watching and controlling how our tax dollars are spent ( "Pratt, Young object to plan to hire outside auditors for city agencies," March 20)? We know that Gov. Martin O'Malley wasted over $200 million on a health care exchange that does not work. We have seen public employees in Baltimore being paid the wrong salary for years. When are Maryland voters going to demand accountability from government employees like the private sector does?
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NEWS
July 9, 2012
I'm amazed at the mileage that "50 Shades of Grey" is getting since it seems to have no value except to excite hormonal interests. Since libraries are facing financial burdens and criticism, perhaps it would be good for them to specialize solely in reading material that has educational value. The readers of recreational material can easily get it at bookstores using their money rather than the taxpayers'. David Wenner, Bel Air
NEWS
March 6, 2014
What's with the O's - Gov. Martin O'Malley and President Barack Obama and the minimum wage? Let's face it, most Marylanders and Americans know that the leadership locally and nationally do not care about the working poor. It's all about increasing the tax base so that they will have more of our tax dollars to spend. I think a requirement for those running for an elected position is that they should have worked in the private sector where they might have learned about profits and losses or have owned their own business.
NEWS
December 28, 2013
Are there any public service organizations that are held accountable for the job they do? School officials can't add and take part-time jobs with vendors that they have hired. City officials purchase speed camera systems without a performance guarantee and then have to pay $600,000 to break the contract. As a taxpayer and voter, I have grown tired of elected officials and the heads of public service organizations' lack of respect for my hard-earned money that they take in taxes.
NEWS
June 6, 2012
Do we really need to have the nanny Gov.Martin O'Malley's New Hampshire visit as a 2016 presidential hopeful on the front page ("O'Malley rallies faithful in N.H.," June 3)? Do you think that is "informing" the Sun's million Sunday readers? The state of Maryland is already in the bottom 10 percent of states as far as taxes go for business climate. Now, I guess the governor can work on getting the U.S. in the bottom 10 percent of the world in taxes (if we are not there already).
NEWS
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.
NEWS
January 5, 2013
Republicans say they will not cooperate on raising the debt limit in mid-February unless Democrats agree to cut spending by an equivalent amount ("Trouble ahead," Jan. 2). What these trillions of tax dollars are allocated for is instructive. The Pentagon takes up more than half of all discretionary spending. Yet politicians wrangling about budget cuts - especially when they are busy amending the tax code so the wealthy contribute their share of the national tax burden - say very little about the military industrial complex.
NEWS
February 12, 2012
I would like Gov.Martin O'Malleyto explain why citizens who no longer have pension plans or retiree medical and prescription benefits through their employers are forced to continue to pay for state employee pensions and retiree health coverage. We should be able to use the tax dollars currently directed toward these generous state employee benefit programs to save for our own retirement just as state employees should be saving for their own retirement. Marilyn Lewis
NEWS
December 18, 2013
I would like to underscore Chris Beyrer's recent commentary calling for lifting the U.S. ban on use of federal funds for syringe services programs, or SSPs ("End the senseless syringe funding ban," Dec. 11). SSPs benefit our communities by preventing new HIV infections, reducing needle stick injuries to law enforcement and saving taxpayer dollars. The SSP in Baltimore alone has served over 14,000 injection drug users and referred about 2,300 SSP users to treatment programs in its first 12 years of operation.
NEWS
February 11, 2014
After a 47-year career first with Bethlehem Steel and then with General Motors and not getting raises for years when the companies where losing money, I do not understand how civil service employees can spend my tax dollars and give raises within such a short time frame to a person who has not done the job that they where hired to do ("Former Md. health exchange director given 5 wage increases," Feb. 7). This is just another case of Maryland elected officials' cronyism that they would hire Rebecca Pearce to do a job that she was not qualified to do. J. Heming, Baltimore - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.
NEWS
January 30, 2014
Christopher Summers of the Maryland Public Policy Institute writes of the O'Malley-Brown administration's folly in using our tax dollars for "costly transit projects" used by "less than 10 percent of Marylanders" ( "Maryland should brace for another round of taxes on transportation," Jan. 27). Mr. Summers apparently assumes that spending on transit confers little or no spill-over benefits on non-riders. Unfortunately, a very recent independent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research demonstrates the falsity of Mr. Summers' assumption.
NEWS
January 21, 2014
I have a hard time understanding The Sun's fairness doctrine. We often read on this editorial page about our need to be fair to illegal immigrants (Dream Act, drivers licenses), minorities (income and education achievement disparities), our poor citizens (support for a minimum wage increase and opposition to food stamp adjustments), but nothing about the productive class of Maryland citizens. The productive class are those Marylanders who work full time, pay taxes, save their money (a responsible act or they could end up a ward of the state)
NEWS
December 28, 2013
Are there any public service organizations that are held accountable for the job they do? School officials can't add and take part-time jobs with vendors that they have hired. City officials purchase speed camera systems without a performance guarantee and then have to pay $600,000 to break the contract. As a taxpayer and voter, I have grown tired of elected officials and the heads of public service organizations' lack of respect for my hard-earned money that they take in taxes.
NEWS
December 18, 2013
I would like to underscore Chris Beyrer's recent commentary calling for lifting the U.S. ban on use of federal funds for syringe services programs, or SSPs ("End the senseless syringe funding ban," Dec. 11). SSPs benefit our communities by preventing new HIV infections, reducing needle stick injuries to law enforcement and saving taxpayer dollars. The SSP in Baltimore alone has served over 14,000 injection drug users and referred about 2,300 SSP users to treatment programs in its first 12 years of operation.
NEWS
December 10, 2013
I read with astonishment your editorial calling for a 15-cent increase in the federal gas tax, to 33.4 cents per gallon ( "The toll on America," Dec. 5). This is on the heels of Gov. Martin O'Malley's hike in the state gas tax, which will go up every year because it's tied into the Consumer Price Index. By the end of this decade, Maryland's gas tax could be pushing 50 cents per gallon. The Sun trots out all the usual reasons for supporting this new tax: "The federal gas tax hasn't been raised since 1993," and an increase is needed to build and maintain new roads and bridges, it will help the economy and, the best one, other industrial nations tax their people more - so we should too. Correct me if I'm wrong, but has The Sun ever seen a tax it didn't support?
NEWS
January 31, 1993
Want to know how to cut costs in state government? How to trim the bureaucracy? How to stop the waste of tax dollars? Pick up a copy of the final report from the Butta commission on efficiency and economy in government. It doesn't cover everything, but this report shows how hundreds of millions of tax dollars could be saved every year.Commission chairman J. Henry Butta deserves credit for achieving in a little over one year an easy-to-use laundry list of steps that can be taken right away to start saving money.
NEWS
December 15, 1991
Editor's note: Red and white lanterns will brighten many Main Streetin many Carroll County communities this holiday season. And most of the time, taxpayers are footing the bill. In Union Bridge, for example, the Town Council -- meeting in an illegally closed session -- voted to spend $7,857 to purchase and install lights; officials had budgeted $20,000. Other examples include Westminster spending $3,200 and Taneytown, $2,899. Electricity costs are additional. The American Civil Liberties Union says towns should not spend money celebrating a religious holiday.
NEWS
November 24, 2013
A recent report published by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College belies the exaggerated storyline in the press that public employee pensions are the major expense of American cities and will lead to municipal bankruptcy if they are not reformed. The report, authored by Alicia H. Munnell, Jean-Pierre Aubry, Josh Hurwitz and Mark Cafarelli, took a sample of 173 cities and included the associated contributions to state plans for school districts as well as the contributions to their own plans.
NEWS
September 5, 2013
Only two words come to mind in response to the latest missive from the Greater Baltimore Committee wherein 52 CEOs say Maryland's highest priority for economic growth and job creation ought to be reforming the state's tax structure to make it more competitive: Good idea. That the region's business leaders think the state's tax structure is hurting the "business climate" is none too shocking. We have yet to visit the state where business leaders never grouse about taxes and the vicissitudes of government — state, federal and local.
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