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Dueling Tax Ads

Let the tax wars begin.

As soon as Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) started rolling out key elements of his plan to close the state's estimated $1.7.billion shortfall by taxing some Marylanders more and others less, the Republican and Democratic parties had no shortage of words for who's to blame for the fiscal predicament.

"Governor Martin O'Malley Addresses What Ehrlich Wouldn't" screamed a news release issued by the Maryland Democratic Party, blaming former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, for a litany of "regressive tax hikes," fee increases and fiscal "band-aids" that failed to avert the current shortfall.

"Unless he was a potted plant for four years, he knew exactly what was coming," party spokesman David Paulson said. "People need to understand that Ehrlich left the state in terrible fiscal shape."

The headline on the news release issued by the Maryland Republican Party was equally colorful: "Marylanders Are Not O'Malley's Personal Pocket Book."

"He's at it again. Martin O'Malley is proposing massive tax hikes on working families disguised as tax cuts," the offensive read, calling the governor's tour to unveil his tax plan an "infomercial" that is "trying to sell the public on how he is defending them, when, in fact, he is robbing them."

A spokesman for Ehrlich noted that the news releases issued by the current governor explains some prime reasons for the potential deficit: an income-tax rollback and a massive school-funding plan, both passed during the administration of Gov. Parris N. Glendening, a Democrat.

"Neither of which Governor Ehrlich had anything to do with," Ehrlich spokesman Henry Fawell said.

By Anne Bartlett  |  September 24, 2007; 10:25 AM ET
Categories:  Lisa Rein  
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Comments

So the deficit has now grown to $1.7B? It must be easier to sell a tax increase by saying 1.7B instead of 1.5B or whatever the true number is. This whole deficit issue was never even mentioned until O'Malley took office. If what O'Malley's ads say is true, then why did the Democratic majority allow Ehrlich to create a "fiscal mess" in the first place? After all, Speaker Busch showed time and time again that he wore the pants during Ehrlich's tenure.

I've heard enough already about this defecit. If one does actually exist, it's not my problem. I receive zero in the way of state services. Zero. Be happy with your 5% and leave me the hell alone O'Malley. In today's society I've got enough snake charmers and quacks trying to bleed me dry. I don't need another.

Posted by: BG from PG | September 24, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey WaPo, do your homework. Martin O'Malley's sales tax numbers don't match the fiscal note from Sheila Hixon's bill last year. They claim a family earning $75,000 pays $135 more in sales tax. The Hixon Bill's fiscal note claims it's $212. They (O'Malley) claim the family earning $50,000 is paying $101, the Hixon bill has it pegged at $126. So whose numbers are right? The non-partisan Department of Legislative Services or the Governor promising 83.5% of Marylanders get a tax break-- of course that is when you don't factor in a gas tax increase, hoa fee increase, gym membership tax, and when you don't look at his property tax plan as a phase-in and you pretend that they get it for all three years at 3 cents, but hey, who is keeping track.

One irony to the Paulson release is that the new O'Malley Tax and Spend plan leads to NEW DEFICITS in 2013. Take a look at the chart. Kind of sad that their "long-term solution" to fixing the deficit is to jack up taxes and create a new deficit.

Posted by: Marylander | September 28, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Since I don't think the WaPo will actually do the homework when I point them in the right direction, I'll just make it a one-click affair:

Hixon fiscal note (page 5 of pdf):
http://mlis.state.md.us/2007RS/fnotes/bil_0003/hb0393.pdf

O'Malley numbers (last page):
http://www.gov.state.md.us/pressreleases/DeficitPowerpoint.pdf

Posted by: Marylander... | September 28, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Marylander,
We'll check.

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | September 30, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

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