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At heart of city tax dispute — inequality [Letter]

The property tax controversies that engulf City Hall certainly raise the issue of administration accountability, but the equity issue goes beyond the taxpayers involved ("Condo owners stunned by unexpected end to tax break," Nov. 21).

If the condo owners relied on city promises to their detriment, they should be made whole. But the issue of property taxes in Baltimore, I suspect, is much bigger. Who is paying what and why? We know that property taxes are regressive, and we know that using them to meet human needs like education and safety creates an inequitable and balkanized state, yet most people seem to be comfortable with that, for reasons that transcend economics.

But no one should be comfortable with the fact that tax breaks, exemptions and breaks that are designed for certain people leave other non-eligible city residents footing the bill for whatever level of city services remain. This is simply not equitable. The time for figuring out who is paying what in the city is long overdue. We are all equal — and public policy should embrace that value to the fullest.

Peter Sabonis, Mount Airy

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Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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