Capital Gazette wins special Pulitzer Prize citation for coverage of newsroom shooting that killed five



From: W. Ray Huff

Delegate, District 31

Many people have complained that their property tax has increasedsubstantially. Therefore, I suggested that these appeal their assessments. However, although many of them have already gone through the appeal process, they are still experiencing tremendous property tax increases.

I have therefore introduced a bill to bring to the attention of the legislators that in a lot of cases the tax assessors are overtaxing. House Bill 711 would allow those those people dissatisfiedwith their tax assessments to request that the state purchase their real property for an amount equal to the assessment less 10 percent.

I have received many complaints from constituents on their increased assessments. One woman was assessed $40,000 on a lot that is not able to be built upon.

With the economy the way it is, home values have not gone up, and in some instances they've gone down. House Bill711 will bring attention to this matter and give people and opportunity to voice their opinions before the Ways and Means Committee.

Citizens of Anne Arundel County, if you want to be heard, the hearing on this bill is scheduled for Tuesday, March 3 at 1:30 p.m. before the Ways and Means Committee.


From: Joseph"Zastrow" Simms


Why should the Board of Education goto Kansas City, as Baltimore County did, to find a superintendent ofschools?

We have the right man right here at home.

No one willhave to tell Barry Carter where Shady Side is or which open-space schools want to build traditional classrooms. He knows our community. Offer him the job.

People have no say in the selection of the superintendent, but it is our children who are affected by the decision. We know that Barry Carter has been the trouble-shooter for every administration since Dr. Anderson's.

Barry Carter has met with the black leaders of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County to help them work for the best access to education for their children, and for access to training for black employees seeking advancement in their careers. He was instrumental in helping Dolores Chambers 20 years ago; he has longhistory of fairness and service.

I am not trying to speak for theblack community or for all the citizens of Anne Arundel County, but I do have a voice. I do know that in this country, where everyone is given a chance, Barry Carter has earned a chance.


From: Bill D. Burlison


This letter is written on the supposition that newspaper reports are accurate that General Assembly leaders are going to propose to the Maryland legislature that a sales tax be levied on the services for which doctors and lawyers charge a fee.

This will bring a smile of approval from most citizens. After all, hated professions are getting their "comeuppance."

The doctors are the rich who accumulate wealth on the backs of the poor and middle class and Medicare and Medicaid. Lawyers ply their skills in the defense of criminals destroying our society and their prosperity depends on fostering smoldering conflict among individuals, corporations and others in society. The health of our bodies and the preservation of our liberties and freedoms are insignificant considerations.

And why is the targeting of these two professions necessary? It is because our legislature is unable to curb its appetite for the welfare state. They must have more money for welfare, more money for education patronage (middle-class welfare), more money for government employees, and more money for continued increase of politician salaries and benefits.

But you barbers, hairdressers, accountants, members of the construction industries and trades, teachers, preachers, and others in the business and professions best not be too smug. For the appetites of the legislators will be assuaged but temporarily.

There will be still more votes that will have to be purchased with taxpayers' funds for the welfare of the lower, the middle and the upper middle classes.

The cycle is never-ending. Ultimately, the sales tax will be extended to cover more than just doctors and lawyers.

And please indulge me this bottom line: We should exact a high price of our legislators if they persist on nudging their noses under this tent of sales taxes for personal services.

The writer is a county lawyer.

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