Marylanders hit hard by gas tax

What a sad time for Marylanders. They are going to be subjected to a regressive gas tax that will have an automatic tax accelerator tied to the Consumer Price Index. It is unfair to the gas station owners who are operating along the borders of our state. They will lose business as people will migrate to pay less at the pump in surrounding states.

The gas tax will increase 4 cents this July, increase another 3 percent by July 2015 and 5 percent by July 2016, with an additional excise tax tied to inflation. The gas tax passed will be used to fund three mass transit programs, the Red Line, the Purple Line and the Corridor Cities Transitway Project. An estimated 91 percent of Marylanders drive, while about 8 percent use mass transit. More funds will be dedicated to those projects than to repair our roads, bridges and tunnels.

Of the 25-plus taxes Marylanders have been subjected to by this administration, this one will hurt the most. The automatic tax accelerator will eliminate any action from the legislature, which will absolve its responsibility in the future. This new absurd increase is unwarranted and will especially hurt middle-class drivers and small businesses.

Del. Susan L.M. Aumann

Baltimore County

Truth required before reconciliation

Re: "America needs racial healing," April 1

This editorial speaks to a subject which no one seems interested in addressing: race. Why is that the case? But more importantly, why are white Americans afraid to have a brutally honest discourse on this subject?

The author states: "One of the biggest problems with America's discussion of racial issues -- insofar as it occurs among people of goodwill -- is that whites don't care and won't participate constructively. White people view themselves as neither the perpetuators nor the victims of discrimination."

I respectively disagree by answering with one word: Hogwash!

Granted, a lot of young folk, both black and white, are too young to remember such atrocities as Jim Crow, lynchings and separate-but-equal, to name a few. But that is no excuse for them to be unaware of why and how those events have caused some irreconcilable differences between some segments of our population.

We will never be able to accept and love each other unconditionally until we are able to accept the truth. Absent that, it matters not how many times we utter the phrase post-racial, or point to the fact that the United States elected and re-elected its first African-American president. And truth, at the very least, should begin with an open and honest dialogue.

Marvin E. Adams

District of Columbia

Maybe Fairfax plates should say 'Please leave'

Re:"Fairfax residents unenthusiastic about custom county plates," March 30

This is one more case of politicians jumping into an idea without doing enough research. This time I guess Fairfax County supervisors believe they know what their people will want without bothering to survey county residents.

Their first misconception is that residents will want to display these plates to "show off their civic pride." It's much more likely that any residents who do choose to buy the plates will do so to promote themselves, showing off to others in the region how smart they are to have chosen to live in such a wealthy county.

Personally, having lived and worked in this county for almost 40 years and watched it explode, the last thing I want to do is to "promote" Fairfax County to encourage even more businesses to locate here, more developers to use vacant land to build on, and more people to live (and drive) here. A million-plus people is too far too many already.

Bruce Remick