The Washington Post

Gansler proposes possible tax breaks, other initiatives for Maryland’s senior citizens

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler. (Photo by Rebecca D'Angelo For the Washington Post)

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) pledged Thursday that if elected governor, he would push a series of initiatives to benefit the state’s senior citizens, including possible new tax breaks.

“Many societies revere their seniors,” Gansler said during an appearance at the Leisure World retirement community in Silver Spring. “Our society should revere its seniors.”

The stop was the latest on a tour that Gansler launched this summer to push ideas he would pursue as governor and to draw a contrast with his leading Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D). Brown has focused largely on collecting endorsements from fellow Democrats during the early stages of the 2014 race.

Gansler also faces Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery) in the June 2104 primary.

Speaking to a crowd of about two dozen in a community clubhouse, Gansler said the state should explore changes in how retirees are taxed and consider additional property tax relief for homeowners age 65 and over.

Another idea advanced by Gansler is a statewide Senior Corps, which he said would connect seniors to job and volunteer opportunities, including work in early childhood programs. He said the program would be modeled upon Baltimore’s Experience Corps.

Other Gansler initiatives would aim to improve workforce training, transportation, housing and legal representation for seniors.

Gansler, who turned 50 last year, noted that he now has an AARP card.

“I haven’t availed myself of it yet,” he said.

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

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