Tax Court Upholds Reduced Rate for Wynne Refunds

The Maryland Tax Court rejected assertions that the Maryland Comptroller's decision to apply a reduced interest rate for unpaid refunds resulting from the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Comptroller of Maryland v. Wynne violated the Fourteenth Amendment's established right to due process, the Fifth Amendment's protection against takings without just compensation, and the prohibition on legislation impairing vested rights established by the Maryland Constitution and Maryland Declaration of Rights. The decision is the latest chapter in…

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Baltimore City Exempts Some Owner-Occupied Properties from Tax Sale

Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott yesterday announced that all first-time owner-occupied tax liens are exempt from the City's annual tax sale later this month. The Mayor also announced additional resources for at-risk homeowners. "Today’s announcement is about being targeted and strategic in our approach to protect our legacy homeowners and center equity,” said Mayor Scott. “This is about taking the action we can take now, not simply kicking the can down the road, and working to…

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Harford Announces Legislation to Protect Farmland from Development

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman this week introduced legislation to protect more than 1,500 acres in the County from development. Harford County Executive Glassman sent legislation to the County Council to protect 1,589 acres of farmland from development on Wednesday, April 28. From the press release: The legislation would bring 25 farm properties, representing 111 development rights, into Harford County’s agricultural land preservation program and fulfill requests from all qualified applicants for the first time…

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Carroll Budget Proposal Targets Schools, Public Safety, Local Roads

Carroll County Director of Management and Budget, Ted Zaleski, this week presented a $686 million fiscal 2022 budget to the Board of County Commissioners. The proposal -- which keeps tax rates steady -- fully funds the Maintenance of Effort requirement for Carroll County Public Schools, invests in local infrastructure, finances key public safety initiatives, and supports community priorities. The proposed operating budget is $470.5 million, a 12.7 percent increase from fiscal 2021. Of the $53.4…

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April 21 Board of Public Works Meeting: What Counties Need to Know

The Board of Public Works (BPW) considered and approved the following requests and recommendations in its April 21, 2021 meeting. This is not a comprehensive list of all considerations and approvals during the meeting. Allegany A request from the Department of Natural Resources to commit $100,000 from the Program Open Space funding allocated to Allegany County to resurface the track at Frostburg State University (Item 1A of the Department of Natural Resources’ Real Property Agenda)…

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Advisory Panel: Keep State Property Tax Rate Steady

The Commission on State Debt is recommending that the Board of Public Works (BPW) set a State property tax rate of 11.2 cents per $100 of assessed value on real property and 28.0 cents per $100 of assessed value on operating real property of public utilities for fiscal 2022. The State has set and kept that rate since 2007, when it was reduced from 13.2 cents. According to Maryland Matters: The commission’s job is to…

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2021 End of Session Wrap-Up: Taxes and Revenues

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo's work in the area of tax policy in the 2021 General Assembly.  The General Assembly routinely considers proposals to change tax structures, often seeking to stimulate economic growth, encourage beneficial activities, or attract and retain residents. These proposals often are focused exclusively on the state's tax structure, but sometimes extend to local revenues as well. In general, MACo stands for local self-determination. Counties, led by their…

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Maryland Board of Public Works – April 21, 2021 Agenda

Maryland’s Board of Public Works (BPW) reviews projects, contracts, and expenditure plans for state agencies – many of which have an effect on county governments. The BPW is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy Kopp, and Comptroller Peter Franchot. It meets on alternating Wednesdays and the meetings are open to the public. The meeting will be held in Governor’s Reception Room on the 2nd floor of the State House in Annapolis. Note: In light of the COVID-19 epidemic,…

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General Assembly Passes Bill to Assist Homeowners In Tax Sale

The Maryland General Assembly this week passed HB 852 Property – Tax Sales – Homeowner Protection Program, legislation that contemplates a novel approach to divert homeowners from the private tax lien process into an alternative program to minimize tax collection costs, assist with the payment of overdue taxes, and allow homeowners to remain in their homes. The bill, sponsored by House Ways and Means Committee Chair, Delegate Anne Kaiser, establishes the Homeowner Protection Program, which…

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