New Maryland Governor Outlines Tax Relief Plans

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan proposed tax relief measures in his first State of the State speech.

Hogan said Wednesday he will push to repeal income taxes on pensions for retired military, police, fire and first responders.

The Republican governor also plans to support a measure to repeal automatic increases to Maryland's gas tax. In 2013, lawmakers approved a gas tax increase that includes automatic hikes in the future to keep up with inflation.

Hogan also says he plans to push for a cut to personal property taxes for small businesses. And the governor plans to follow through on a campaign promise to repeal a stormwater management fee critics have called "the rain tax."

Hogan says Maryland's high taxes, over-regulation and anti-business attitude are holding the state back.

But the governor's call for cooperation from Democrats to solve the state's financial problems may face challenges. Democrats are trying to restore education spending cuts, which they say wll devastate schools in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

Hogan also said he wants to reform the state's legislative redistricting process, creating a bipartisan commission to study how to put the redistricting process in the hands of an independent, bipartisan commission.

Currently, the shaping of legislative districts every 10 years in Maryland is largely in the hands of the governor, who submits a proposed map to the Legislature, which votes on it.

Critics of the process say Maryland has some of the most gerrymandered congressional districts in the country.

Hogan does have bipartisan support in his effort to tackle Maryland's heroin epidemic.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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