Wednesday, May 14, 2008

‘Gotta get outta this place’

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Marvin Weinman’s commentary (‘‘How much longer can taxpayers afford to live here? April 9) got my attention because I have been asking myself a corollary question: ‘‘How much longer do I want to live in a locality (state and county) that has so many constraints, such big government, and such high taxes and is continuing to increase each of them?”

Just days after reading his article, I learned that my state and local taxes for 2007 would be 80.8 percent of my federal taxes! Including sales tax and real-estate tax, we paid more state and local taxes than federal taxes in 2007!

As a longtime county resident, the issues of bigger government, more constraints and higher taxes started bothering me some years ago. I have become convinced that many other states and localities offer better value for the taxes they receive.

My previous letter to state and local officials about restraining spending during a time of budget surplus rendered a condescending response with statements that stretched the imagination. One went something like: ‘‘We just lowered your taxes in this (specific area) and on this (specific service).” And all the while they were raising the tax rate.

I have had enough and we can vote with our feet so we plan to relocate to Virginia sometime next year where I am convinced the taxpayer has fewer constraints and receives better value for their taxes.

The irony is that we can afford to live here but resent this attitude and the exorbitant taxes.

When we relocate to Virginia, we can continue to enjoy this metro area and, I believe, we will have fewer constraints and receive better value for our taxes.

David Blanchard, Silver Spring