D.C. Council member John A. Wilson's commentary, advocating a D.C. income tax for nonresidents who work in the city {Close to Home, Aug. 16}, deserves a response.

First, nonresident employers who have offices in the city already pay a tax. I am not referring to the sales tax noted by Wilson, but to the property tax. Those renting office space in Washington pay a large tax to the city by virtue of the rent paid to the property owners, who in turn pay large city property taxes.

Second, the nonresident income tax amounts to taxation without representation. If residents are unhappy with the way their elected officials use collected income taxes, the residents can "throw the rascals out." Nonresidents do not have that option.

Third, those who have their offices in Washington do so largely because of the federal presence, and not because of the presence of the city government. In fact, the services provided by the city government in some cases are so poor that it is often an embarrassment to us when we are visited by foreign and other out-of-town guests. In this regard I can briefly mention the trash-littered streets and sidewalks and the poor quality of many of the District's streets, including some main streets.

With the large property taxes paid, the problem of trash on the streets should be solvable through the use of more street-cleaning people and equipment and perhaps also by more and better public education.

It is wrong to expect people who do not live in the District to accept an unfair financial burden for necessary and desirable city services. The cost of these services in nonresidential areas is and should rightly be borne by property taxes. -- Sheridan Neimark