I RECENTLY HAD to rent a car in Philadelphia for the first time. I am a lifelong resident. When I looked at the bill, what blew me away was there were five separate taxes for renting a car.

There is a 6-percent sales tax; the additional 2 percent for Philly; a 2-percent stadium tax; a 2-percent passenger-car rental tax; and a $2/day transportation-assistance tax. I actually asked about the last one, and the rental manager told me that Philly imposed that one because the rental companies add so many cars to the city streets, causing wear and tear. The manager told me that the rental companies informed the city that the bulk of their business is replacing cars temporarily when residents get into accidents, so they aren't really adding cars to the street. You can imagine how that went over, as the tax is still there.

A friend told me that when the sales tax went from 6 percent to 8 percent, he worked for a company that did large sales transactions in the multimillion-dollar range. They simply moved their sales office out of the city and did all the transactions from that office, thus making sure that all sales took place in another county. The additional 2 percent on these large transactions made it worthwhile to do this. I always wondered how many other companies have done the same thing.

This is crazy. They are going to tax us out of our homes soon.

Charlie Brennan

Philadelphia

Giving tax breaks to billionaires is simply asinine. And besides, why should these folks have special rules that apply only to them? Yes, indeed, we need to stop these gluttons from coming back to the smorgasbord table for more and more helpings.

It's not going to break these folks to pay a 30-percent tax rate on their earnings. After all, it's what most Americans do.

JoAnn Lee Frank

Clearwater, Fla.

Funny, those murders

Murder defendant, in a recent article, said that "sexual assault made him snap." If it weren't so serious it would be funny - that uncomfortable giggle that relieves tension in the face of tragedy.

I read this story with great interest. It spoke with me like a parable about the dangers of overindulgence such as drugs, sexual deviance and the seeming acceptance of cruelty. Omar Wilson was allegedly sodomized with an object by so-called friends during or after a night of drug-induced partying. I am not sure how blame should be assessed; after that sort of humiliation, I would want to kill the perpetrators. How much is too much?

How could you allow yourself to be placed with the sort of people who thought that sexual humiliation was funny enough to pay for it with their lives?

Seems the only noble souls in the room were the two innocent dogs, who died in the sordid events.

Marion Powell

Elkins Park

See double, buy single

I have been buying the Inquirer and Daily News daily since the Bulletin went out of business.

The People's Paper is mainly for sports and the crossword puzzle. Last week I thought I was going crazy reading the same sports story in two papers until I noticed the bylines.

I can save a dollar a day and buy a crossword book and still get my sports fix.

I tolerate "The People's Paper" being anti-labor, but now I wonder why.

Rich Tana

Philadelphia

Tossing up his beer

Re: Joe Sixpack's column: The test for the new 24-ounce Tall Boy beer can thrown from the upper deck of Citizens Bank Park reminded me of the days when we would test a 45 rpm record from the rooftop of Austin Meehan Middle School to see its flight pattern.

Good test, gang!

Bill Heiser

Philadelphia

Whites in hoodies

To John McGettigan: I do not have much respect for you because you think that only black youths in hoodies commit crimes.

Take a poll and ask African-Americans in this city what is the No. 1 thing they are afraid of. If they're honest, they will tell you it's the young white males who wear hoodies and harass people on public transportation. You think that African-Americans are the only ones who commit crimes. Think again. How many blacks have been robbed, murdered and had other atrocities committed against them by the white youths, who, as you would like to believe, do not commit crimes? White youths commit crimes and they also wear hoodies, but when it's a black youth wearing a hoodie, he is automatically labeled a criminal. Some of the criminals in the white race wear business suits and carry brief cases and they are the worst criminals.

When black people walk down the street in a white neighborhood, they should hold their purses for fear of being robbed by a white youth with a hoodie on his head, or being beaten just because you're black.

Lora Neal

Philadelphia

Of primary importance

Paul Smith: Great piece! I have to agree with you 100 percent. Been around politics my whole life and the only time you see your pols is right before the election and then they never come back to your block - if they ever come to your block.

They do take the voter for granted. WAKE UP, VOTERS!!! Stop being so dumb and make them earn your vote.

Bobby LaVelle

Philadelphia