Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley delivers his State of the State speech last month. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

In a bid to raise additional revenue, O’Malley has proposed capping personal deductions and exemptions for residents making $100,000 or more. A Senate panel is instead considering an across-the-board hike to most Marylanders’ personal income taxes.

“We looked at that as an option, and we did not think that was the best way to go,” O’Malley said during an appearance on Maryland Public Television’s “Ask the Governor” program.

O’Malley argued that his approach was “fairer” and stressed how long his administration had spent on his budget plan.

“We spent eight months on our version, and we think it’s pretty sound,” O’Malley said.

The governor also took aim at the lobbying effort against his plan by real-estate agents, whom he accused of “totally mischaracterizing what we proposed.”

The lobbying campaign has cast O’Malley’s plan as the first step toward the state doing away with mortgage-interest deductions, widely considered one of the largest financial incentives to home­ownership.

That has given the impression, O’Malley said, that he wants to “do away with everyone’s homeowner deduction,” which is “absolutely, positively false.”

“God bless the realtors,” O’Malley told host Jeff Salkin. “They’ve been effective, but they haven’t been truthful. .... They have not been very honest in the course of this debate.”