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Homestead tax credit does its job

I must congratulate your reporters for their investigative report on property taxes that recently appeared in The Sun ("Distorted discount," Dec. 18).

The fact that the reporters uncovered instances where multiple Homestead tax credits have been taken is an important finding. Why local taxing authorities cannot eliminate this problem boggles one's mind. It is not sufficient to say that this problem is difficult. It must be solved for the proper administration of Maryland's property tax laws.

To suggest, as Delegate Samuel "Sandy" Rosenberg was quick to do ("Key Maryland lawmaker calls for property tax overhaul," Dec. 19), that property taxes should incorporate one's income into the formula violates current tax policy. The city and the counties are already receiving funding based on income on the Maryland income tax returns.

The notion that the Homestead credit system currently in place is unfair must be based on the old hedonistic principle, "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need." That socialistic system of funding government was discredited with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The current system of collecting property taxes does exactly what it was designed to do — it guarantees that the taxes collected from city property owners increases by no more than 4 percent per year. I retired here in 1998, bought a house, and my analysis of property taxes paid over those years averaged a 4 percent increase per year.

To bastardize the current system in the belief that the wealthy should pay a higher share of the cost of running the city and counties, smacks of the same concepts that we see on the national stage. It seems that since the wealthy are effectively disenfranchised as voters, they are easy targets of the populist politicians. Talk about a scandalous situation!

Sam Davis, Towson

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