Duties of the Court when they first began in 1878 were assigned to the State Tax Commissioner, who was appointed by the Governor, State Treasuer, and Comptroller to a four-year term. By 1914 they had devolved to the State Tax Commission (Chapter 841, Acts of 1914), and in 1959 to the Maryland Tax Court (Chapter 757, Acts of 1959).

[photo, 301 West Preston St., Baltimore, Maryland] The Maryland Tax Court hears appeals from the final decisions of State or local taxing authorities, including decisions of the Comptroller of Maryland, Property Tax Assessment Appeals Boards, and local collectors (Code Tax-General Article, secs. 3-101 through 3-113, sec. 13-510; Tax-Property Article, sec. 14-512; Art. 48A, sec. 641).

In tax controversies, the Maryland Tax Court is the highest level of administrative review. The Court makes factual determinations and adjudicates disputes about income tax, sales and use tax, and real and personal property assessments. Judges conduct pretrial conferences, try cases, and draft opinions. Appeals of Tax Court decisions may be made to the Circuit Court.

301 West Preston St., Baltimore, Maryland, November 2003. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

To appeal to the Tax Court, one must file a written petition that states succinctly the nature of the case, the facts on which the appeal is based, and each question presented for review (Code Tax-General Article, sec. 13-516). The petition must be filed within 30 days from the date the previous final decision, determination, order, or assessment was mailed (Code Tax-General Article, sec. 13-510(a)). Forms for filing an appeal are available from the Tax Court.

The Court consists of five judges appointed by the Governor for six-year terms. One judge must reside on the Eastern Shore, one on the Western Shore, and one in Baltimore City. Two must be residents of the State at large. All must be qualified voters of Maryland, but no more than three may be of the same political party. At least two must be members of the Maryland Bar; the Governor names one of these Chief Judge (Code Tax-General Article, sec. 3-106).

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