Ehrlich tailors appeal to Montgomery voters
In an appeal to Montgomery County residents Tuesday, former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) pointed to two tax measures passed by the Democrat-led General Assembly that he said were "the worst" for the jurisdiction: the "tech tax" and the "millionaires' tax."
The "tech tax" -- a levy on computer services -- was among those adopted during a special session in 2007 called by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) to help balance the state budget. After an outcry from the industry, it was repealed in 2008 before taking effect.
The "millionaires' tax" -- a three-year surcharge on the state's high-ended earners -- was adopted in 2008, largely to offset some of the revenue lost by repealing the computer services tax.
"That hurt this county more than any other because of your flight of wealth," Ehrlich said at a roundtable campaign event in his Montgomery County headquarters on Rockville Pike.
Ehrlich is targeting Montgomery this year despite its heavily Democratic tilt, hoping to improve upon lackluster performance in the county in 2002 and 2006. O'Malley aides and Democratic strategists have suggested there is limited room for growth.
Ehrlich disclosed that Katja Bullock, who is managing his Montgomery campaign, has set a goal of 44 percent there this year. Ehrlich called that "a wonderful goal" but said his target is a little lower -- though still above 40 percent.
Ehrlich got about 38 percent in 2002 and 37 percent in 2006.
"We've made a tremendous commitment to this county," he said Tuesday.
During the roundtable discussion, Ehrlich also touted his pro-business credentials and said he would work to improve the share of services Montgomery gets in exchange for its tax dollars -- though he provided few specifics.
"The Democratic leadership has viewed Montgomery County as an ATM," Ehrlich said in an interview after the event. "But this is not the Montgomery County of 10, 15 years ago. There has been a significant loss of wealth."
September 1, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections , John Wagner
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