Facts behind the claims in the first gubernatorial debate

Democrat Anthony G. Brown and Republican Larry Hogan threw around a lot of charges and numbers during Tuesday's gubernatorial debate. Here are some of the facts behind the accusations.

• Brown repeatedly said Hogan wants to hand corporations "a $300 million tax giveaway." Hogan has said he wants to reduce Maryland's corporate tax rate from 8.25 to 6 percent, which translates into $300 million of tax revenue in one year. Hogan contends the increased economic activity from lower taxes would eventually more than offset that loss.

• Hogan correctly asserted that Maryland has one of the widest achievement gaps in the nation. The annual National Assessment of Education Progress showed that the gap in scores between Maryland's white and black students is among the largest in the country. On the 2013 math test, for instance, 67 percent of white fourth graders in Maryland scored proficient, compared to 22 percent of black students and 33 percent of Hispanic students.

• Hogan contends the biggest threat to the Chesapeake Bay is sediment pollution from other states that flows down the Susquehanna River. Recent research suggests otherwise. A key study found the river contributed only 20 percent of the sediment that inundated the bay after Tropical Storm Lee in 2011.

• As Hogan correctly charged, the O'Malley-Brown administration has taken hundreds of millions of dollars earmarked for environmental programs and used it to plug budget holes. In some cases, however, the administration used bond money – borrowed dollars – to pay for those environmental programs.

• Maryland has taken more unaccompanied immigrant children from the border than any state besides Texas, California, New York and Florida, but it has not taken 10 times more per capita, as Hogan contends. Maryland has taken in about 5.5 such children for every 10,000 residents, which compares to 4.6 for the District of Columbia, 3.8 for Virginia, and 2.4 for Texas, according to recent federal data.

Erin Cox and Liz Bowie

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