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Volume 15, Issue 44 ~ November 1 - November 7, 2007

Letters to the Editor

We welcome your opinions and letters – with name and address. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, P.O. Box 358, Deale, MD 20751 • E-mail them to [email protected]. or submit your letters on line, click here

Use RICO to Clean up the Bay

Dear Bay Weekly:

In reference to your editorial of Oct. 18 [Don’t Chicken Out on Poultry Policing: Vol. xv, No. 42]:

For those Bay polluters about whom a pattern of pollution can be proven — e.g., chicken farms and all farmers whose fertilizer etc. ends up in the Bay year after year — the federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) statues apply. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and our attorney general who have been so advised don’t want to go there. Why?

What’s on farmers’ land should stay on their land by law. They should not be permitted to use the Bay as their personal toilet bowl.

–Clifford Dean, Annapolis

How Our Taxes Are Spent

Dear Bay Weekly:

The reference to tax increases in your editorial of Oct. 8 [Don’t Chicken Out on Poultry Policing: Vol. xv, No. 42] caused me to wonder why there were no letters published in reaction to your Highland Beach Community Center article [Highland Beach’s Platinum Town Hall: Vol. xv, No. 41]. A community with 60 homes gets a $500,000 community center funded with county and state money.

I don’t feel any ill will toward the members of the community. I have no doubt that they had to jump through a lot of hoops and go to a great deal of trouble to secure the government funding. I admire their perseverance. But I am left wondering how this can happen.

I understand the current state administration’s desire to address the deficit by raising taxes, but it would certainly seem to me this community center indicates that there is still a failure on the part of the state to spend the money it collects wisely.

–Leslie Dickey, Prince Frederick

Editor’s note: Grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Chesapeake Bay Trust, as well as citizen fundraising, also supported the community center.

Put the Brakes on the Vehicle Sales Tax

Dear Bay Weekly:

I’m a loyal voter in your district. I’m also a taxpayer and a consumer. I understand our state is looking for revenue to fill a large deficit. While some taxes may need to increase, the vehicle sales tax is definitely not one of them!

The average price of a new vehicle in Maryland has reached $30,000. Therefore, the vehicle sales tax will naturally increase with inflation.

Furthermore, the vehicle sales tax rate is one of the highest in the region because we tax on the full price of a new vehicle. Most states allow a tax credit for the value of any trade-in. It makes sense to allow consumers a tax credit for their used vehicle trade-in. Without this credit, consumers are being taxed twice.

Last, our registration fees were increased not long ago. This tax is just another burden on Maryland consumers who rely on automobiles. How many other required revenues can the government increase at the expense of Maryland automobile drivers?

Some taxes will be paid by both residents and non-residents of Maryland. Those taxes should be explored for potential revenue. All car tax increases are paid by Maryland residents exclusively because we must title and register our vehicles in this state. Therefore, I strongly urge you to oppose the proposed 20 percent vehicle sales tax increase.

–Ron Reed, Annapolis

Fitzgerald Auto Mall

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