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Unfair estate tax [Letter]

It was with a mixture of disappointment and dismay that I read your editorial on the estate tax ("The $431 million payoff," March 21).

It seems The Sun promotes those in the greedy state of Maryland who continue to look for ways to tax us to death, or in this case, benefit from our death.

Raising the exemption for the estate tax to $5 million — or tying it to the federal level, which is just over $5 million and pegged to inflation — is not the horrendous injustice that this article proclaims.

The horror is in taxing someone on money that has already been taxed at federal and state levels and then is taxed again for one reason: That the person had the gall to die in the state of Maryland.

Assuming a tax bracket of 33 percent federal and 7.5 percent state when earned, plus 16 peercent state estate tax, small businesses or heirs will have 56.5 percent of their wealth usurped by taxation, with almost a quarter of it being dumped into Maryland's financial cesspool.

For those who have worked hard and excelled in earning and saving over $5 million, they also pay federal estate tax and have little from their original earning. And this does not count the too-numerous-to-mention other taxes, fees, assessments, levies and charges piled on those who are working to build a legacy for their families and who have been providing the support for the state and federal largess while they lived.

When will it stop? Not a shout out but a shout down to Del. Heather R. Mizeur for her blindness in attacking the very people who are paying her salary, supporting the liberal programs enacted and keeping America strong. If Maryland is indeed an "outlier" in taxing the deceased, as you state, perhaps it is because the rest of America has recognized the fairness of allowing people to work and save without undue taxation upon death.

Ralph Hendrix, Severna Park

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