I have one thing to say in response Steve Bates' "Let's Tax Our Kids" {Outlook, June 24}: taxation without representation.

I started working part-time when I was 15 years old just for extra spending money. Every pay day, about one quarter of my check went to taxes. Because I was still dependent on my parents, I could not claim an exemption. When I realized I would not get all my taxes back at the end of the year, I did some checking into the laws.

The most common answer to my question of taxation without representation was that I still used the roads (though I was not allowed to drive at 15, either) and public services that tax dollars pay for. I was also told, "That's life -- deal with it" and heard the old cliche' about death and taxes many times.

The most creative answer I got was from my congressman, who said that as a child I am represented by my parents. Somehow I don't think my parents and I have the same views on a lot of issues.

The idea that Steve Bates offers is to tax those items that are frequently bought by teenagers. To me, taxation of anyone under 18, be it through paychecks or tariffs on products geared toward teens, goes against one of the main reasons this country was founded. Our fathers created this country to escape the tyranny of cruel laws and unfair taxes. Minors are denied that one right that protects them from unfair taxes: the right to vote. SARA OKREND Silver Spring