Hogan Still Eyeing Tax Cuts Despite Shortfall

Although Maryland’s troubling state budget outlook may make it more difficult, Governor-Elect Hogan indicates he still plans to pursue reductions in spending and taxes.

As reported by the Baltimore Sun,

Gov.-elect Larry Hogan said Monday that new budget figures show Maryland’s economic picture is even bleaker than he had warned during his campaign, and will make it tougher to devise a plan to cut taxes.

However, as reported by Channel 4 news, Hogan “remains committed to pursuing tax relief” in the first year of his term.

Hogan, a Republican, said Monday in an interview with The Associated Press that he would consider calling a special session next year to do more work on the state’s finances, if that’s necessary.

An opinion piece in the Baltimore Sun indicates that Governor-Elect Hogan may take a more thoughtful approach as he develops his plan for spending reductions and cutting taxes.

Mr. Hogan advanced by far the most responsible and prudent approach to the budget and taxes of any of the candidates in the Republican primary, and he made it through the general election without a lot of specific promises that might foreclose his options as governor.

In an interview with the Baltimore Sun’s editorial board, he elaborated more on his approach.

He reiterated his view that spending cuts must come before tax cuts — this would seem obvious, but apparently it isn’t among conservative ideologues like those who have driven Kansas’ economy into the ditch during the last few years. And he insisted that he would approach cutting the budget “in a deliberate way.” He said he doesn’t think that there are departments or major programs that should be eliminated, and he rejected the idea of across-the-board spending cuts. The first order of business, he said, was to conduct independent, outside audits in “a reasonable, cautious approach.” He said he did not want to “make wild promises, but I want to run government more efficiently so we have money to bring tax relief and can free up taxpayer funds for top priorities.”

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