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Ehrlich pledges no tax increases -- or fee hikes

Ehrlich Gambrills.jpgFormer Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) will not raise taxes if returned to office -- and has no plans to raise fees either, he said Wednesday.

Ever since the campaign began, Ehrlich has warned that Marylanders face a massive tax increase if Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) is returned to office. Ehrlich did so again Wednesday at a roundtable event with small business owners in Gambrills.

"If Governor Ehrlich wins, believe me, there will be no tax increase," Ehrlich said. "End of discussion."

Asked later by reporters if that pledge applies to fees as well, Ehrlich said he had no plans to raise any of those either.

The distinction is not an insignificant one. In a new video, O'Malley's campaign is hammering Ehrlich for comments he made recently explaining the difference between taxes and fees. During Ehrlich's term, he raised several fees, including those for vehicle registrations and use of sewer and septic systems.

Ehrlich defended both of those fee increases Wednesday, saying the "dedicated revenue" has led to important transportation and environmental improvements.

O'Malley has said he has no plans to raise taxes next year but has not ruled out the possibility. Maryland is facing an estimated $1.6 billion shortfall in the fiscal year that starts next July.

Ehrlich also told reporters that he is looking toward November and that Primary Day in Maryland will be "another work day" for his campaign.

In the Sept. 14 primary, Ehrlich faces Brian Murphy, a business investor from Montgomery County who has been endorsed by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

"I respect Brian Murphy," Ehrlich told reporters. "I don't know him. He certainly had a right to run."

By John Wagner  |  August 25, 2010; 4:51 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , John Wagner  
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Boy, old "Marty" must be getting scared if he's running attack ads about taxes, when he raised the sales tax of Maryland by 1 percent. And is OLDMalley trying to claim that he, somehow, is NOT a politician? He's a scumbag. By the way, Marty, you left the city of Baltimore in great shape. All I can say is you've got guts even showing your face in any kind of reelection bid, dude. Lowlife.

Posted by: Nixonin08 | August 25, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

erlich is pandering again. maryland's wealthiest residents have been relatively unscathed during this economic depression, because it has a really high concentration of well-paid government and government contractor employees.

erlich would rather those 95% of all households, who earn less than $100,000, suffer by not raising the taxes on those who earn $250,000, $500,000, or $1M and above!

erlich represents ONLY those who earn more than $250,000 per year -- and by making the pledge, he can help them. those households who earn less than $100K per year are affected more when Bush lowered the 39% rate to 35% and lowered the capital gains rate to 15%.

Posted by: FranknErnest | August 26, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Got my vote, and that's anyone but O'Malley.

Posted by: hared | August 26, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

No new taxes or fees?! Mr. Ehrlich is committing millions of dollars on election year promises. I am eager to hear how he plans to pay for:
- no income tax for vets
- more transportation aid to local gov
- cut sales tax by 1%
- double # charter schools
- rebuild the dover bridge
- end furlogh days for state workers
This is just insane recklessness. Spend it all, Mr. Ehrlich - afterall, you made YOUR money (failing again to implement slots) eager he is to spend the taxpayer's.

Posted by: allardcranston | August 27, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

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