As a citizen of Maryland, I oppose S.B. 629, a bill in the state Senate that, if enacted, would authorize a county or municipality to impose an annual surcharge for the registration of a motor vehicle.

The legislation would provide for a surcharge up to $20 per year per vehicle and require that revenue from the surcharge be used for transportation development purposes.

While the terminology used in S.B. 629 says "surcharge," this is really a tax since the intent is for the "surcharge" to apply every year. That makes it, in essence, a tax.

No matter what you call it, this is yet another blatant attempt to take money from the pockets of Maryland citizens without any clear indication of what citizens would receive in return.

The Maryland General Assembly continues increasing the tax burden on Maryland residents who are used as if we are an ATM to support the voracious and misguided spending appetite of elected officials.

Instead of dreaming up new ways to extract money from the wallets of Maryland citizens, where are the efforts by the General Assembly to reign in rampant, unnecessary spending and force the Gov. Martin O'Malley to accept a state budget without raising taxes or creating new fees?

As a retiree, I must live within my means everyday. I expect my elected officials to do the same. Maryland has earned the distinction of being one of the most highly taxed states in the U.S., leading to the departure of longtime Maryland residents and businesses who are simply fed up with the "tax and spend" mentality demonstrated each year by the General Assembly and Mr. O'Malley.

This must change. I ask the General Assembly to take a stand, stop the taxing madness, and defeat S.B. 629.

Jonathan E. Miller, Columbia

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