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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.

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