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Rodricks is wrong: Md. tax system is progressive and fair

Rodricks is wrong: Md. tax system is progressive and fair.

As usual Dan Rodricks gets it wrong. The Maryland tax structure is both progressive and fair ("Beyond race, building a movement for economic fairness," March 30). Let's look at two families A and B. Family A earns $60,000 and B $300,000. For 2014, excluding exemptions and deductions, A pays $2,800 in state income taxes and B pays $15,072. Basically, B earns 5 times A but pays 5.3 times in taxes. If exemptions and deductions are included, the ratio that B pays increases to 8 to 10 times that of A because those adjustments are eliminated for high income earners, but not for low income earners.

But that is only half the picture. You also need to see what each family receives for their tax dollars. For 2014 Maryland spent about $6,200 per citizen. One could easily make the argument that family B does not receive much of any benefit from the $6,200 per capita in spending by the state. But even assuming that both families benefit the same, family A does not pay taxes but actually receives taxes. In other words, B spends over $15,000 for $6,200 of services and A spends $2,800 but receives $6,200 in services. That is a pretty good deal and I call that both progressive and fair.

Steve Williams, Towson

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