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  •   Sauerbrey Promises 24% Income Tax Cut

    Ellen R. Sauerbrey
    Ellen Sauerbrey on the campaign trail.
    Sauerbrey (right) shakes hands on the campaign trail. (AP file photo)

    The 1998 Campaign
    Nominees Ready Strategies
    Sauerbrey Plays Down '94
    Fund-Raising Gains Momentum
    Targeting Economy, Schools
    Campaign Attracts Heavyweights Good Economy Blurs Message
    A Running Start on Race
    Sauerbrey Launches New Bid
    By David Montgomery
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, August 10, 1994; Page B05

    Republican gubernatorial candidate Ellen R. Sauerbrey promised yesterday to cut Maryland's income taxes by 24 percent in the next four years if she is elected.

    The House of Delegates minority leader did not specify how she would make a tax cut estimated at $820 million while balancing the state budget, which is facing an estimated $1 billion deficit in the next four years.

    Sauerbrey (Baltimore County) is the only one of the seven major candidates for governor who has promised a personal income tax cut. Until now, the candidates have sparred not over who would cut taxes, but over who had the most realistic plan to balance the budget without raising taxes.

    Sauerbrey's rivals from both parties reacted with skepticism after she announced her plan at a news conference in Bethesda yesterday morning.

    Maryland's income taxes are among the highest in the country, but when sales and other taxes are factored in, Maryland's overall tax rate ranks in the bottom third of all states, according to the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, a bipartisan group that focuses on government finance.

    Sauerbrey said she would finance the $820 million tax cut through spending cuts and increased revenue generated by a "strengthened economy." She did not name specific cuts.

    "I can't stand here today and tell you everything I'm going to do to find" the money, she said. "But I don't have a doubt in the world that we'll find {it}."

    Sauerbrey has offered specific budget cuts to address the state's $1 billion projected deficit.

    Recommended cuts include freezing state hiring except for new prisons, eliminating automatic increases in welfare grants and renegotiating health care coverage for state workers.

    She said she would consider measures such as repealing Maryland's prevailing wage law, which regulates the salaries paid on state construction jobs.

    © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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