Representative Frank Ryan (Times-Chronicle, 10/6) sets the bait by calling for an elimination of property taxes. What he substitutes, for the most part, i(s a series of flat taxes on consumption and retirement income at the state and local levels, which would leave the greatest tax percentage of disposable income on the poor and middle class, and provide a greater burden on those without salaried income. Ryan's designation of a tax on retirement income would doubly tax IRA's and 401(k)-style plans -- which have already been taxed as income when state residents contributed to their plans -- and now would be subject to additional taxes when they were withdrawn at retirement.

Like so many of Ryan's Republican colleagues, he refuses to consider correcting the mistakes of Tom Corbett's tax cuts, which never paid off in new jobs, and never paid for themselves (as advertised) through economic expansion. Neither would he demand a change to the Commonwealth Constitution, by allowing a graduated income tax, so that the wealthy would at last pay their fair share, like every other neighboring state in our area

Ben Burrows

Elkins Park

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