Summer Sale! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Readers Respond
News Opinion Readers Respond

Sun clueless on ground rent

The Sun's recent editorial regarding ground rents ("Fixing ground rent," Oct. 27) objects to the Maryland Court of Appeals finding that the legislature cannot just take property from ground rent owners. Of course, the legislation developed because of reporting by The Sun on abuses of the system by some in the past. However, you seem to feel that all current ground rent owners need to be punished because of this. Why is that?

The government has data on who owns the ground rents, except their records are screwed up. My sister and I had a few properties turned over to us by a relative in 1992, and appropriate fees and paperwork were filed with Baltimore City. We received no notice of a need to register. I declare the rent of under $200 per year as income on my state income tax form each year, but no notice was sent to me about my need to "register." My sister moved to California several years ago and had no way to know the state intended to take what her grandparents had purchased years ago.

Suppose you, editorial board of The Sun, had somehow forgotten to register your car with the state, and while you didn't take the car on the road, it sat in your garage. Would the state have a right to take your car or give it to someone else just because you did not fill in some paperwork?

I believe in this case, The Sun is in the dark. Get out and consider what you are saying rather than making a mockery of justice and equity.

Steven Sass, Baltimore

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Ground rents must go

    Know anyone who gets paid for doing nothing? Ground rent owners. These folks do nothing but claim their "booty" on a tax form. And it is all blessed by our politicians and lawyers.

  • Court strikes down heart of ground rent law: Now what?

    Court strikes down heart of ground rent law: Now what?

    The Maryland Court of Appeals has found that a requirement that Maryland ground rent holders register their leases with the state or lose them is an illegal taking of property without just compensation. It’s too bad the courts never showed the same deference to the rights of those who lost their...

  • Ground rent verdict was correct

    Contrary to The Sun's editorial position, justice has been done in the court's decision regarding ground rents! A basic premise of our Constitution is that private property shall not be taken without just compensation.

  • Pope Francis catches up with God on abortion

    Regarding your story "Pope to allow priests to absolve abortion in holy year," Sept. 3), I'm so glad the Pope is on board, because God has been forgiving abortions since the first one occurred.

  • The victims of violence

    The victims of violence

    Regarding your recent front-page reports on the victims of violence — one on the Freddie Gray case, the other of the 45 murder victims in July — as mind-boggling as these stories were, my first thought was that "black lives matter," "all lives matter" no matter how they were killed or by whom.

  • Let teachers teach, not test

    Let teachers teach, not test

    In the recent commentary by Betty Weller and Elizabeth Ysla Leight ("Less testing, more learning," Sept. 1), the authors observe that "students spend an excessive amount of time taking and preparing for standardized tests." In fact, they relate in Carroll County "tests were scheduled for all but...

  • Have we grown numb to the deaths of our fellow citizens?

    Have we grown numb to the deaths of our fellow citizens?

    The Sun cover story that profiled the 45 people murdered in July enabled readers to see that behind the statistics were real people, most of whom had families and friends who loved them, and some of whom died simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time ("45 murders in 31 days...

  • Marilyn Mosby is just another grandstanding politician

    Marilyn Mosby is just another grandstanding politician

    I have several points of disagreement with letter writer Kweisi Mfume's recent assessment of Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby ("Mfume: Sun is too quick to judge Mosby," Aug. 28).