The May 18 editorial "The Region Responds" cheered Washington area congressional representatives for co-sponsoring the bill offered by D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) to provide federal funds to cure part of the city's structural budget deficit.

But in granting that the bill would not solve all the city's financial problems because its provisions bar the use of any new funds for operating expenses, the editorial failed to point out that while the funds would aid the city, they wouldn't aid its residents.

Yes, the funds would help fix the roads and bridges. But as the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit, now under appeal, that challenges the constitutionality of the congressional ban on a District tax on non-resident income, I must point out that those funds would not reduce the income tax burden on D.C. residents. Their rates are double the average local rates other Americans pay.

Once again, Congress is preparing to approach a profound injustice with a placating gesture. Instead of cheering, The Post should point out what the proposal is not. It's not a solution to the ban on a non-resident income tax, a ban that a federal trial judge rightly called "manifestly inequitable."

JAMES M. BANNER JR.

Washington