The front-page story {Oct. 3} on how Maryland residents escape taxes by registering their cars in Virginia prompts a simple solution. The state of Maryland could avoid making "criminals" out of its citizens and raise more tax revenue at the same time by cutting tax rates. The District learned several years ago that raising gasoline taxes produced less revenue as drivers responded by filling up in Maryland and Virginia. The federal government has also learned since 1981 that by dropping tax rates, tax evasion becomes less worthwhile and more revenue is collected.

By reducing its tax rates, Maryland could also spare us the Orwellian spectacle of "a special five-member team of registration sleuths" spying on residents suspected of operating "suspicious cars." It's bad enough to spend several hours in line at the Motor Vehicle Administration. Who wants MVA bureaucrats to make house calls?


Maryland officials are bemoaning the loss of fees and taxes caused by the registration of Maryland vehicles in Virginia. There is a flip side to this "loss."

What is the estimate of fees gained by the registration of Virginia vehicles in Maryland by Virginia owners who want to escape Fairfax County's obscenely high personal-property tax?