Bottle tax hysteria

Being a proud Baltimore native living in Los Angeles these past 15 years, I was surprised, outraged and down right flabbergasted by all the ridiculous hyperbole surrounding the new 2 cent bottle tax. I laughed aloud when I read that Councilwoman Helen Holton called it "a dark day for Baltimore" and Councilman Nicholas D'Adamo said he was "ashamed" to be on the council. Grow up, children! These comments show just how juvenile and petty elected officials can be.

I particularly enjoyed a comment in The Sun earlier in the week where a councilman said that the tax (then 4 cents) would "deprive children of their Gatorade and bottled water." Excuse me? If these folks are so poor that they can't afford to pay $1.29 as opposed to $1.25, maybe they shouldn't be spending their money on fancy sports drinks, and it might behoove them to fill a reusable container with tap water and ice.

It was especially laughable that beverage company merchants worry that customers will take their business over the county line. OK, so let me get this straight: I'm going to drive from downtown Baltimore to the suburbs so I can save 48 cents per case of soda or beer? How ridiculous a comment is that?

In this day and age of economic downturn and cost cutting, it is irresponsible to suggest that such a measly tax be attacked the way it has. Everybody has to tighten their belts, and the now approved 2 cent tax will be noticed by nobody. Who even looks to see if a beverage is a penny or two higher?

Marylanders should be happy that they're sales tax isn't 9.75 percent like it is in Los Angeles. Council members need to stop crying and do their jobs to keep Baltimore safe, clean and habitable!

Tony Bliss, Los Angeles

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