Gov.Martin O'Malley's effort to cut back on tax loopholes is a necessary step to reduce the state's income tax, and eliminating the mortgage interest income tax deduction is a good place to start ("Realtors to rally against proposed change affecting Md. mortgage interest deduction," Feb 28). While supporters of the deduction say it is an incentive to homeownership and crucial to maintain the housing market, the deduction has done very little to increase homeownership rates and is an unnecessary government subsidy of the housing market.

Policies created to achieve greater levels of homeownership, like the mortgage interest deduction, have had devastating effects on the housing market as a whole, artificially inflating demand and driving up prices. It's good Governor O'Malley is finally taking these policies on.

Matthew Glans, Chicago

The writer is a legislative specialist for The Heartland Institute.