Regarding the bottle tax proposal ("Bottle tax rise gains in council" June 12):

I grew up in New York State, where a five-cent tax on bottles has been on the books for at least 15 years. Nobody even thinks twice about it there; the tax is simply a small amount of money raised for a purpose that benefits everyone. I can't recall hearing anyone consider moving to Pennsylvania in order to avoid paying an extra 60 cents for a 12-pack of Pepsi. It's simply not that big a deal.

Here in Baltimore, we have Councilman Warren Branch, who said of the bottle tax, "Instead of luring 10,000 people to the city, we're going to lose 10,000 people." Forget for a moment the fact that the money raised by the bottle tax will be dedicated to improving city schools, which is a huge factor in whether or not people choose to live in Baltimore. The sheer ridiculousness of the quote is the problem. This is why so few people vote, why we end up with unappealing candidates, why political campaigns are so torturous; it's because our elected officials say things that have no basis in reality.

Matthew D'Accurzio, Baltimore City