« Kratovil-Harris race nears top of spending list | Main | Sen. Munson, defeated in primary, runs in general »

October 28, 2010

Ehrlich draws line between taxes and fees

Sandwiched between a slew of political ads, Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich chatted this morning with FOX45's morning anchor Patrice Harris in a brief live interview.

He pledged not to raise taxes if elected, but hesitated about when questioned about fees. "Fees you'd have to define," he said. "Cutting taxes is part of our platform."

The answer will likely delight incumbent Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, who deployed a campaign ad questioning whether voters distinguish between taxes and fees.

Ehrlich and O'Malley both raised taxes and fees as governor, and in the past Ehrlich has said he would not raise fees. O'Malley says his planned budget for next year does not include a tax hike, but he has not ruled out the option.

Ehrlich says he'd try to reduce the state's sales tax if elected, a pledge he reiterated this morning. The tax cut could be funded by more effective investigation of Medicaid fraud, cutting vacant positions in state government and more better stewardship of the state's gambling program, he said.

Ehrlich also said he believes the tax rate on casino is set too high, and suggested that he'd lower it. Maryland takes 67 percent of gaming revenues, making it one of the highest rates in the country. Lowering the tax rate does not require amending the constitution.

The interview is one of a series Ehrlich is doing this morning, he also hit the WBAL-AM airwaves and will be on WCBM at 10 a.m.

Posted by Annie Linskey at 8:30 AM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010


Is he seriously dumb enough to think that voters care what label you put on the wallet drain? Money out of my pocket is money out of my pocket. All I ask is that it be spent on something that matters, like education, and not given to a politician's rich friends.

Here's a crazy idea, how about stop taking all of our money and spending it irresponsibly? Cut spending, cut taxes, make gambling legal and stay out of our pockets. I'm tired of giving up more and more money every year for their flawed budget plans and ridiculous spending

I don't care which pocket it comes out of a fee is a tax. Mr. Erlich has been using this dodge for all of his term and most of O'Malley's. He is simply not credible with his pledge of no new income and getting the state out of the hole.

Vote O'Malley and send Ehrlich into retirement

All Bobby needs to win is KKT

This article did little to clear the air about O'Malley's ad stating "a fee is a tax", so allow me to assist the former Governor since he won't help himself.

A Fee is a payment for a "sevice" that the person paying the fee actually receives. While no fee is ever a good thing, sometimes it is necessary to fund that service in order to maintain that service, and more importantly there is 100% accountability for the funds collected and they go directly to that service in order to maintain it for those who benefit from it.

A Tax on the other hand is a payment period... with the collected money going into a black hole from which it can be shifted to anywhere the legislation wants with little or no accountability what-so-ever (just how the democrats like their money to be). Regardless of how it is advertised at the time of it's collection (example: O'Malley raises taxes to fund education), this does not mean this is where the the money will be spent. Furthermore, regardless of whether you benefit from a service taxes are meant to fund, or not... "you still pay"... unlike a fee which is only paid by those who directly benefit from it's funding.

In short, a Fee is a collection of money from Bob to fund services "provided to Bob"... while a Tax is collection of money from Bob to fund services "provided to Martin".

Not the same at all.

So if your idea of an "honest" politician is one who holds unconstitutional special sessions to raise taxes and has no problem calling them taxes (because you can't stop him anyway)... versus one who has to resort to fees only because the democratically controled house overrides all his vetos to reduce spending, and at least fees are actually accountable funds... then go right ahead and vote for Martin O'Thief and his merry band of thieves down in Annapolis.

Ehrlich has O'Malley on the ropes. Bob is within striking distance. The Sun, Post, Rasmussen and Gonzales polls are bunk. Our poll watching operation is going to be the final blow of this textbook campaign.

O'Malley has been using the monies from Ehrlich's hikes
since he has been in office and
still raised them higher.And he will raise them again; anyone who has a full time job will be
cutting their salary by supporting OweMalley

There is difference between taxes and fees. If he increases state income taxes 1% it affects everyone and you have no say into whether you pay it or not. If you increase fees, say car registration fees or building permit fees, it affects a smaller subset of people. You can choose not own a car or not to renovate your house etc. Very few of us can choose not to have an income.

Personally I am more for lower income tax and higher user fees. At least then you have a choice in how to spend your money.

Oh, please Vic give me a break. So who did the money for the increase in "fees" for your license tag renewal go to? It was not earmarked for state highways or that administration and it certainly did not go to those workers. Also your almighty "BOB" is still going to cut funding to education which has been his theme since his first election and was when he was in Congress. So don't tell me about him. He cries about the furloughs, well when he was in office there was no recession and he has yet to say how he will change that. I guess he will just abolish more jobs so he doesn't have to lay off government employees. Oh wait, then the unemployment rate will go up so he will have to hide that fact. Ask him why the environmental people dislike him. He tried to sell protected land to a builder on the Eastern Shore near Easton to build luxury homes and condos to collect more tax on those buying these. Forget this land was earmarked for the animals that lived on it and their protection. Do you honestly believe a man who worked for 1 bank that took bailout money and went under, then worked for the company that represents the man who wants to build the slots parlor at Arundel Mills Mall. Lest we forget how he pouted while Governor that if he did not get slots approved he would decrease education funding. This is the most despicable thing anyone can do. No one held back any funding for his education and he can well afford the private schools his children attend. What about the children in the city and counties who depend on this funding to provide a good education for them? He has been campaigning on the radio as a paid talk show host since O'Malley came into office because his ego and no lips could not bear the thought that he lost. Well, I say put him out to pasture and let him take his toys and go home. He did nothing to help the State of Maryland and never will and those who think he did/will are looking through rose colored glasses and not seeing the truth. He held special sessions in Congress to push his agenda just like O'Malley. What about his ideas on capital punishment and the fact that he has paroled or pardoned more people than any other governor? People in the state need to be educated before they pass their vote or they will be sorry if he is elected back into the office.

Well Joe... even if this is true and the Ehrlich campaign has an "epiphany bomb" to drop on the heads of mindless Maryland voters over the weekend, it may be too late.

Early registration saw to it that "the dead" and "illegal" could place thousands of votes for Owe'Malley on the hour every hour up until November 2nd. That in itself could be too much to overcome.

Face it... 4 more years of TAX HIKES which "no one" will complain about as much as they have over a few "fees" from 8 years ago. Speaking of which, where were these same "fees" people when Glendening put VEIP into being, but was re-elected anyway?

Nothing I love more than paying some high school student $14 for the privledge of having them rev my transmission on a tredmill... and if I'm really lucky my car might not pass one of the several catagories and I'll get to funnel even more of my money to a repair shop to earn Gov. Glendening's seal of approval without any improvement to how my car actually runs. Oh Boy, Oh boy... where can I sign up!!!

Bob Ehrlich raised property taxes, income taxes, and corporate "filing fees" that every business has to pay every year.

No one could call those "fees" and not taxes with a straight face.

Incredibly, Bob Ehrlich continues to dodge responsibility for his 57 percent property tax hike in 2003, claiming the Board of Public Works was responsible, not Mr. Ehrlich.

But he proposed the 57 percent property tax hike on March 14, 2003 and he cast his vote on the three-member Board of Public Works panel to enact it on May 1, 2003.

Read headlines from the time....

Tax boost in revised Ehrlich budget
Higher property rate, corporate fees proposed to help stem fiscal crisis
March 15, 2003, Baltimore Sun

Ehrlich boosts property taxes $165 million
Carroll County Times/Community Times, May 13, 2003

Ehrlich Proposes Property Tax Increase
Governor Cites ‘New Fiscal Realities,’ Calls for Higher Corporate Fees
March 15, 2003 Washington Post

Ehrlich Votes to Boost State Property Taxes
Washington Times, May 1, 2003 (PAGE ONE)

For links to the articles see,

Ehrlich Tries to Hide from his 57% Property Tax Hike

- Steve Lebowitz

Hey Steve Lebowitz how come your boy MOM doesn't know the difference between an illegal immigrant and a new American?
Why does your boy support in state tuition for illegals?
Your boy's indifference to illegals is costing the taxpayers of Maryland up to 2 billion dollars a year.
Justify that sir.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):


Headlines from The Baltimore Sun
About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
Most Recent Comments
Sign up for FREE local news alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for local news text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Breaking News newsletter
When a big news event breaks, we'll e-mail you the basics with links to up-to-date details.
Sign up

Blog updates
Recent updates to news blogs
 Subscribe to this feed
Charm City Current
Stay connected