Franchot issues budget plan

He says audit of tax violators would bring $200 million over four years

October 06, 2007

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said yesterday that the state could collect $200 million over four years by bolstering efforts to audit individuals and businesses that violate state tax laws.

Franchot, who held news conferences Thursday in Baltimore and Silver Spring to speak out against proposals to legalize slot machine gambling, said his plan includes doubling the number of corporate auditors.

An aide to Gov. Martin O'Malley reacted to the news conferences by saying the governor's office "would welcome any constructive ideas" from Franchot on how to close the projected $1.7 billion shortfall in the state budget.

Franchot said yesterday that his proposal was submitted last month to the Department of Budget and Management as part of his office's requested budget for the next fiscal year.

O'Malley has said he would use a slots bill that the House of Delegates approved in 2005 as his model. That plan called for 9,500 state-owned machines at four locations - one each in Anne Arundel, Harford, Frederick, and Allegany counties.

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