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Ehrlich pushes 'no-brainer' military tax exemption

Ehrlich military pensions.jpgFormer Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) on Tuesday said he would seek to exempt the pension income of Maryland military retirees from taxation, making good on a promise to veterans that he said was broken by legislative leaders.

"This is a no-brainer of all no-brainers," Ehrlich said, flanked by military veterans at a VFW Post in Ellicott City. "We want military retirees to live in Maryland."

Ehrlich, who is trying to win his old job back, said such legislation would cost $37 million a year and could be phased in over five years -- a price tag he called the equivalent of "a rounding error."

"It's very cheap," Ehrlich told reporters.

At a previously scheduled news conference outside O'Malley's campaign headquarters in Baltimore, Ehrlich's latest campaign pledge fed a line of criticism about unfunded promises.

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) said that as with a pledge last week to partially restore local transportation funding, Ehrlich had provided no plausible explanation about where the money for the veterans' tax credit would come from.

Brown outside HQ.jpg"What Bob Ehrlich has failed to do is offer the blueprint, the plan, the details on how, with a shrinking state budget, we are going to afford to extend that tax credit," said Brown, an Army reservist who served in Iraq.

Brown also suggested that Ehrlich was underestimating how much the full exemption would cost the state.

Ehrlich said that in 2006, during his final year in office, he received assurances that legislative leaders would pass legislation enacting the exemption. Instead, he learned late in the legislative session that they were only willing to pass a $5,000 tax credit.

"For four years, this has languished," Ehrlich said. "It needs to get done. It will be bill one from my administration."

Military retirees with more than 20 years of service would be eligible. Ehrlich said about half the states have a similar exemption.

At his news conference, Brown also railed against Ehrlich's fiscal record, which from 2003 to 2007 included a substantial spending increase, in part to fund growing education costs. Early in his tenure, Ehrlich also raised property taxes and fees to balance the state's budget.

"We know that Bob Ehrlich is good at making budget-busting campaign promises," Brown said. "But we also know from Bob Ehrlich's failed record that he just can't keep a promise. Bob Ehrlich says he wants to lower taxes, but he raised taxes as governor."

-- John Wagner and Aaron C. Davis

By John Wagner and Aaron C. Davis  |  August 24, 2010; 1:22 PM ET
Categories:  Aaron C. Davis , John Wagner  
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Comments

Pandering, pure and simple. And I'm ex-Navy.

Posted by: jckdoors | August 24, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I'd love it if this passes.

Posted by: postfan1 | August 24, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

another washington post story about Ehrlich that fails to mention his palin endorsed opponent Murphy and pretends he already won the republican governor nomination to face O'Malley.

He hasn't and he won't.

Posted by: MarilynManson | August 24, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight Mr.Former Governor:

You start with a $1.5 billion structural deficit.

You have promised to cut the sales tax a cent, which brings in $600 million. New deficit $2.1 billion.

You have promised to restore local highway funds, another $50 million.

You promised an annual tax credit of $8 million to the film industry.

You want to make all military pensions tax free, another $37 million. So now we are at 2.2 billion.

Promises state workers no more furloughs, which means an additional $58 million.

Ehrlich tax cut and spending. . .2.25 billion dollar deficit.

What are you going to cut? Where are you going to find the dollars for your rounding errors?

You come from the Gingrich wing, right? What is your contract with Maryland? Your spending plans are clear but what expenses will you cut? Are planning on raising more "fees?"

The GOP has to face facts, Governor Ehrlich can't change his stripes, he is a big spender. During his one term he grew the State budget 41 percent. He raised the property tax, flush tax, tuition at instituitions, corporate filing fees, road tolls, motor registration fees. .ugh!

During this campaign he has spent donations at a huge rate, buring half of what he takes in without tv or radio production or purchase.

Now he is the Bob Ehrlich Traveling Spend Tour- criticizes every cut, promises to restore them all but has no way to fund it. He is making hollow promises hoping to garner votes, hoping the legislature won't approve his cuts and he can point fingers. He is a spendaholic, time for an intervention.

His excuse that the cuts will pay for themselves is absurd. Even if our veteran population doubled, and all money was put back in the economy through spending on taxable items, the state would see about 5.4 million. What a deal! Cut revenues 58 million, get back 5.4 million.

His sales tax cut? Will cost $600 million, which he says will be made up in increased spending. Really, that cut will put spur $12 billion in spending to generate that 600 million? It simply doesn't compute.

Please Mr. Former Guv, time is running out, how will you pay for all your spending? Tell us the truth. . .either you have a plan or you don't. Which is it?

Posted by: Negotiator1 | August 24, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight Mr.Former Governor:

You start with a $1.5 billion structural deficit.

You have promised to cut the sales tax a cent, which brings in $600 million. New deficit $2.1 billion.

You have promised to restore local highway funds, another $50 million.

You promised an annual tax credit of $8 million to the film industry.

You want to make all military pensions tax free, another $37 million. So now we are at 2.2 billion.

Promises state workers no more furloughs, which means an additional $58 million.

Ehrlich tax cut and spending. . .2.25 billion dollar deficit.

What are you going to cut? Where are you going to find the dollars for your rounding errors?

You come from the Gingrich wing, right? What is your contract with Maryland? Your spending plans are clear but what expenses will you cut? Are planning on raising more "fees?"

The GOP has to face facts, Governor Ehrlich can't change his stripes, he is a big spender. During his one term he grew the State budget 41 percent. He raised the property tax, flush tax, tuition at instituitions, corporate filing fees, road tolls, motor registration fees. .ugh!

During this campaign he has spent donations at a huge rate, buring half of what he takes in without tv or radio production or purchase.

Now he is the Bob Ehrlich Traveling Spend Tour- criticizes every cut, promises to restore them all but has no way to fund it. He is making hollow promises hoping to garner votes, hoping the legislature won't approve his cuts and he can point fingers. He is a spendaholic, time for an intervention.

His excuse that the cuts will pay for themselves is absurd. Even if our veteran population doubled, and all money was put back in the economy through spending on taxable items, the state would see about 5.4 million. What a deal! Cut revenues 58 million, get back 5.4 million.

His sales tax cut? Will cost $600 million, which he says will be made up in increased spending. Really, that cut will put spur $12 billion in spending to generate that 600 million? It simply doesn't compute.

Please Mr. Former Guv, time is running out, how will you pay for all your spending? Tell us the truth. . .either you have a plan or you don't. Which is it?

Posted by: Negotiator1 | August 24, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

What entitles military retirees to special tax breaks? I'm sick of the special rules for special classes. Stop pandering and step aside so that a real conservative has a chance.

Posted by: sinesk1 | August 24, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

the military retirees get plenty of benefits...

remember serving in the military is a choice...just like being a fireman, policeman, teacher, or even a private entrepeneur...

remember the principles of capitalism...

no free lunches...

erlich needs to stop pandering to the military folks... they have had tremendous pay raises in the past... sure their work is hard... but let's make it market based... supply and demand... when folks enlist the bar is set pretty low when it comes to getting a job... some even exchange jail time and serve in the military instead...

all income should be treated the same no matter how it's earned...

this is pure political B.S.

Posted by: FranknErnest | August 24, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Brown asks where the $37 million will come from for the military retirees tax exemption, yet the Democrats have failed to ever answer where the $2 Billion for the Thornton Education plan passed under Glendenning was ever going to come from, and for the past several years the state deficit has been about $2 Billion. What a coincidence!!! That unfunded bill is still unfunded!!

Posted by: stnaig | August 26, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

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