City tax hike makes no sense

Mayor Nutter's proposal to raise property taxes when there are $472 million in delinquent taxes and fines outstanding makes no sense ("Nutter presents a $3.6 billion budget," Friday). Why burden the taxpaying citizens when there are deadbeats who are not taking responsibility for what they owe? What happened to the allegedly temporary tax increases, including the sales-tax hike from 7 percent to 8 percent? I have not heard anything about that going away.

The $90 million the mayor says he needs for the School District could easily be paid for through collecting the outstanding property taxes. However, it seems it's easier to raise taxes than to hold deadbeats responsible. I'm not sure if the city can't or won't collect those taxes, but for the taxpayers to have to pay more is nonsense. I hope City Council stands up to the mayor, and presses him to collect the taxes owed before raising new taxes.

Robert Greenage, Philadelphia, bgreenage@comcast.net

What happened to 'temporary'?

We finally see Mayor Nutter for what he is: an incompetent and a fraud. Here's a politician who promised temporary tax increases. Now we find that not only are the increases permanent, but that, in most cases, taxes are going to be raised.

Matthew Augustine, Philadelphia, mjmrex@aol.com

Think this through, Mr. Mayor

I desperately hope that Mayor Nutter's Actual Value Initiative regarding Philadelphia properties is thought through with more wisdom and expertise than when he wooed Camille Barnett, his former managing director, and Arlene Ackerman, former school superintendent, to Philadelphia. After two years of work, Barnett has laid claim to $50,000 a year for the rest of her life out of the city's pension system, and Ackerman receieved almost $1 million from the School District's budget when she left.

Jim Bonner, Philadelphia

U.S. has Israel's back

Charles Krauthammer's dislike for all things Obama has prevented him from correctly presenting the facts ("With Israel threatened, Obama looks to protect himself," Monday).

President Obama has signed into law the toughest sanctions ever against Iran, and he was praised by Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu for his efforts. Obama is determined to prevent a nuclear Iran, not just for the security of Israel, but for the security of the United States as well.

The president has been able to create an international coalition, including China and Russia, and as a result the U.N. Security Council passed the most comprehensive and biting sanctions Iran has ever faced. As a result, Iran is facing hardships in key industries, including banking and transportation. Moreover, the president has stated that he will uses all options against Iran, including military, if necessary.

To quote Obama, the United States has Israel's back.

Jill Zipin, Horsham

Distinguished contributors

I am sorry to hear that cartoonist Tony Auth is moving on, and even more concerned to hear that our other Philadelphia Pulitzer Prize-winner, Signe Wilkinson, might also be considered dispensable. The value of an artist of original opinions is incalculable. To keep an engaged community turning to The Inquirer and Daily News, distinguished contributors such as Wilkinson are essential. I hope the papers recognize that.

Mary Day Kent, Philadelphia, mdaykent@verizon.net

Start the day with a chuckle

I want to thank The Inquirer for printing the letters recommending that the government buy a refinery to keep gas prices down ("Agreed, let feds buy a refinery," Monday). It's not often that I start the day with a good belly laugh.

Fran Steffler, Philadelphia, fsteffler@aol.com