Maryland Republican gubernatorial hopeful Larry Hogan said Tuesday that he would like to roll back as many tax increases passed under Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) as possible but promised a more “reasonable” approach than some of his GOP rivals.
Two of Hogan’s opponents in the June primary — Charles County businessman Charles Lollar and Harford County Executive David R. Craig — have proposed completely phasing out the state’s personal income tax, as well as significant reductions in other levies.
“We’re going to take a more reasoned and reasonable approach,” Hogan said during an appearance at a “Newsmaker Forum” hosted by the Baltimore Sun, where he argued that the state should be prudent in reducing its major sources of income.
Hogan, who served as a Cabinet secretary under former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), said he would put a more immediate priority on getting state spending under control. After that, he said, he would like to see reductions in both personal income taxes and corporate income taxes, though he provided few specifics.
The GOP primary also includes Del. Ronald A. George (Anne Arundel), who has called for a 10 percent across-the-board cut in the personal income tax rate.
Hogan said he would release a report on Wednesday that details $1.75 billion in potential savings in state government spending based on past federal and state audit findings that have never been implemented.
Hogan also said that he has a “tremendous amount of respect” for Ehrlich, the last Republican governor of a state in which Democrats hold a more than 2-to-1 advantage in party registration.
But Hogan said he and Ehrlich are “very different people” and that he has “a track record of being able to work with Democrats.”
During the Ehrlich administration, Hogan served as appointments secretary, a job that involved steering thousands of people into state jobs and positions on boards and commissions. For the past three years, Hogan has led Change Maryland, a state watchdog group.