Wicomico County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Council of Wicomico County as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Department of Finance — See County Charter, Article V.
Taxation — See Ch. 203.
STATUTORY REFERENCES
Revenue and taxes — See Tax-General and Tax-Property Articles of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
[Adopted 10-15-1982 by Bill No. 1982-9.[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 29, Director of Finance, adopted and amended by P.L.L., 1930, Art. 23, secs. 204 through 209, 211, 214, 216 through 221, 223 and 225 through 230; 1959 Code, secs. 229 through 249; 1904, ch. 14, sees. 8 through 13, 15, 17, 19 through 24, 26, 28 through 32 and 34; 1920, ch. 494, sees. 12, 13 and 28; 1924, ch. 523; 1927, ch. 226, secs. 8, 9 and 30; 1931, ch. 206, sec. 208; 1933, ch. 70; 1935, ch. 144; 1943, ch. 562; 1943, ch. 678; 1943, ch. 967; 1945 Session Laws, p. 1997; 1945, ch. 320; 1947, ch. 676; 1951, ch. 540; 1953, ch. 269; 1957, ch. 72; 1959, ch. 24; 1959, ch. 92; 1959, ch. 93; 1959, ch. 94; 1961, ch. 179, sec. 244, a); 1963, ch. 825, sec. 25; 2-15-1978 by Bill No. 1978-6; and 6-13-1980 by Bill No. 1980-17.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
As soon as possible after the annual levy by the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation, the Director of Finance shall place thereon all credits, whether for money received, transfers, insolvencies, discounts or abatements; and it shall be the further duty of said Director to enter alphabetically on his records the entire account of each taxpayer in one place, so that the whole may be seen and easily examined; and it shall be the further duty of said Director to keep the accounts as provided above in this section for each election district of Wicomico County. It shall also be the duty of said Director to keep a full and fair cash account, showing all sums of money received by him, so as to indicate the source whence the same was received, respectively, and showing all sums of money paid out by him either to or for the County or to the Treasurer of the State of Maryland.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
All books, documents, papers and computer data pertaining to the County Director of Finance’s office shall be the property and records of Wicomico County and shall be available in said Director’s office and shall at all times be subject to examination by authorized persons; and all said books, documents, computer data and papers, accounts, credits and deposits belonging to said Director’s office or in the custody of said Director shall be delivered up and transferred by him to his successor in office when such successor is duly appointed and qualified.
It shall be the duty of the Director of Finance during the month of July after such annual levy to prepare the tax bills of each taxpayer and forward same by mail or deliver same to the person or persons or corporate institution, or to the agent of the person or persons or corporate institution, to whom the property included in such bills as are assessed, so far as their residence or post office address may be known or ascertained by said Director on or before the first day of August next succeeding said levy; and such tax bills shall also contain a clear statement relative to the discount to be allowed and the interest to be charged on all tax bills. Beginning July 1, 1944, it shall be the duty of said Director to prepare and send by mail to each taxpayer a tax bill for each separate parcel of real estate assessed against said taxpayer and a separate tax bill for taxes levied against all other personal property.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
The Director of Finance shall deposit in a national or state bank in Wicomico County all taxes received or collected by him up to the date of such deposit, to be deposited to the credit of Wicomico County; and he shall once each month forward to the State Treasurer a check for the amount of state taxes to his credit in the bank, and he shall receive from said bank, or either of them, a certificate of deposit for each deposit to the credit of the county, and said money shall only be drawn from said bank upon the check of the County Executive, countersigned by the Director, in payment of debts and accounts properly due by Wicomico County.
The Director of Finance, within 15 days after the first day of February succeeding the levy, shall deliver or mail to the last known post office address of each delinquent taxpayer an aggregate account of the amount of his assessment and taxes thereon, with a notice to said delinquent thereto attached, that unless payment is made in full before the first day of March next after the mailing or delivery of said notice, that same will be collected by process of law, and the Director shall enforce the payment of all personal property taxes remaining unpaid on the first day of March next after the delivering or mailing of said notices, in the manner prescribed by law, by a sale of personal property of the delinquent. In the case of unpaid taxes on real property, the provisions of statewide law shall apply as provided in Article 81 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, subtitled "Tax Sales."[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See now the Tax-Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
All taxes due and owing by any taxpayer upon real or personal property, or both, shall be a prior lien on all the real estate of such taxpayer, and personal property may be sold to pay such taxes. Real estate also may be sold to enforce the payment of taxes following the procedure in Article 81 of the Annotated Code, subtitled "Tax Sales."[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See now the Tax-Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
Whenever it shall be necessary to enforce the payment of taxes by a sale of personal property, said Director shall make out a bill of such taxes in the usual form, with an order at the bottom of said bill directing the Sheriff of said county to levy upon the personal property of the delinquent and to sell same to satisfy and pay the taxes so due, and it shall be the duty of said Sheriff, upon receiving such tax bill and order, to levy upon and sell the personal property of such delinquent in the same manner and upon the same notice; and he shall be entitled to the same fees as if he were proceeding under an execution from a court of law; and he shall, immediately after such sale, pay over to said Director the amount due on said tax bill; and any surplus which may remain after the payment of taxes, interest and cost shall be paid by said Sheriff to such delinquent taxpayer, and said Sheriff's bond shall be liable for all such tax bills placed in his hands by such Director to the same extent and in the same manner that it is liable for execution claims issued to him.
Every tax deed shall contain the name of the former owner of the property it conveys, and the Clerk of the Circuit Court in whose office the same may be recorded shall index it not only in the name of the grantor and grantee, but also in the name of and as from the former owner to the grantee.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
The Director shall deposit in the manner hereinbefore provided all county taxes and all moneys due said county and collected by him; and when said county taxes for any year shall have been collected in full, he shall deliver to the County Executive and County Council a statement of account showing such collection in full; and he shall also pay into the treasury of the State of Maryland, according to law, all the state taxes levied in said county and collected by him and in the manner hereinbefore prescribed, and he shall be allowed three years from date of each levy placed in his hands for collection to complete the collection thereof, and to make his final settlement with said County Executive and County Council and with the Treasurer of Maryland respectively, and immediately after the expiration of said three years, it shall be the duty of said County Executive to bring suit upon the bond of said Director for all county taxes in his hands uncollected or unaccounted for to said County Executive.
All claims for erroneous, insolvent or uncollectible tax bills, for which said Director shall claim a credit, shall be presented to the County Council before or at the time specified for said final settlement, and in no case shall said Council allow credit for erroneous, insolvent or uncollectible taxes unless satisfactory proof is produced that same cannot be collected.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
The County Executive, at any time after the termination of the employment of any County Director of Finance or at the time of the final settlement in this article provided for, may direct and require him to deliver over to his successor in office all collectible taxes due upon the levies with which he was charged and also to deliver over the notices, schedules and other proceedings had for the enforcement of payment of said taxes, and, in such cases, the said successor, upon the delivery to him of the bills for such taxes, shall be empowered and required to enforce the payment of said taxes in the same manner as his predecessor could have done, and he shall have all the power and authority in law with which his predecessor was clothed for that purpose, and in such case the bond of the new or succeeding Director shall become responsible for the proper collection and distribution of such taxes, and the bond of the preceding Director shall be held responsible for such taxes as remain uncollected from fault or negligence of his own.
In the event that the bond of any Director of Finance shall become liable to Wicomico County or to the State of Maryland for any unpaid or uncollected taxes, the sureties on said bond shall be empowered to enforce the payment of said taxes in the same manner as said Director of Finance could have done.
The Director of Finance shall issue, whenever requested and upon the payment to him of a fee of $0.50, a certified statement over his signature of all taxes assessed since the first day of January 1902 that may be due and unpaid at the time of making said certificate and are a lien upon any certain real estate located in Wicomico County and on any tax sale affecting said piece of property since that date. Said certificate shall be a bar to the collection or recovery from any purchaser of real estate after the issue of said certificate of any tax assessment omitted therefrom and which may be a lien upon the real estate mentioned therein, but said certificate shall not affect the liability therefor of the person who owned the real estate at the time such tax was levied or at any time after such levy and before the issue of said certificate, and said Director shall be responsible to said county for any loss of taxes that may arise from error in said certificate.
[Added 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
The Director of Finance shall have a deputy, who shall perform such duties as said Director shall require and for whose official conduct said Director shall be responsible and who, in the absence of the Director, shall act in his place.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 29-15, Office; hours, was repealed 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11.
The provisions of the Code of Public General Laws of Maryland now in force, or hereafter enacted, applicable to collectors of state and county taxes, except when the same are repealed by or inconsistent with the provisions of this article, shall be held to apply to the Director of Finance of said county, who, as to his power, rights, duties and liabilities, both civil and criminal, and those affecting his bond or bondsmen, shall be in all respects in the same position as state and county collectors of taxes, except as herein provided.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, partnership, corporation or other entity to issue and/or deliver unto said Wicomico County, the Director of Finance thereof or unto any of its officials or agencies any instrument purported to be a check, money order, draft or other order for payment which is not collectible at or by the institution upon which it is drawn. In the event that any such check, money order, draft or instrument is issued or delivered to said Wicomico County, its Director of Finance or any of its officials or agencies and in the event that such check, money order, draft or instrument is returned by reason of nonpayment by the institution upon which it is drawn for lack of funds or for any other reason, the Director of Finance of Wicomico County may, in his discretion, levy upon such person, firm, corporation or entity who issued such check, money order, draft or instrument a penalty in such sum as may be determined by the Wicomico County Council from time to time. When such levy is made by the Director of Finance, such charge shall become a lien upon the real and personal property of the person who issued such check, money order, draft or other instrument, as in the case of real estate taxes, and shall be collectible in the same manner as real estate taxes assessed against any such property.
[Adopted 3-19-2013 by Bill No. 2013-03[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This bill also changed the title of this chapter from "Finance Director" to "Finance" and designated the existing §§ 29-1 through 21-17 of the chapter as Article I, Finance Director.
For the purposes of this article, the following words or terms shall have the meaning:
APPROPRIATION
In this article shall mean the authority to accept and expend grant revenue.
AUTHORIZED GRANT
A grant listed in the Annual Budget and Appropriation Bill.
AUTHORIZED GRANT REVENUE
Grant revenue that is anticipated from an authorized grant.
UNANTICIPATED GRANT REVENUE
Grant revenue that was not anticipated in the Annual Budget and Appropriation Bill, and includes revenue from grants not included in the Annual Budget and Appropriation Bill, and revenue from grants included in the Annual Budget and Appropriation Bill but in excess of the amounts anticipated from those grants.
Authorized grant revenue is deemed appropriated for the purposes specified in the authorized grant, subject to the following conditions: there is a grant award letter or other writing that, to the satisfaction of the Director of Finance, confirms that the grant funds are available for expenditure by the County; and there are sufficient funds available for payment of any required County matching funds.
A. 
Revenue from a grant included in the Annual Budget and Appropriation Bill but in excess of the amount anticipated for the grant and any County matching funds, are deemed appropriated for the purpose specified in the grant, subject to the following conditions:
(1) 
There is a grant award letter or other writing that, to the satisfaction of the Director of Finance, confirms that the grant funds are available for expenditure by the County; and
(2) 
There are sufficient funds available for payment of any required County matching funds.
B. 
Revenue from a grant not included in the annual budget and appropriation bill, and any County matching funds required by the grant, are deemed appropriated for the purpose specified in the grant, subject to the following conditions:
(1) 
The application for or award of the grant has been approved by a resolution of the County Council that includes the estimated amount of the grant and any County matching funds, and an identification of the County department that will administer the expenditure of the grant and any matching funds;
(2) 
There is a grant award letter or other writing that, to the satisfaction of the Director of Finance, confirms that the grant funds are available for expenditure by the County; and
(3) 
There are sufficient funds available for payment of any required County matching funds.
Upon satisfaction of the conditions imposed on an appropriation by this article, the Director of Finance, without the necessity of further action by the County Council, shall reflect the receipt and expenditure of grant funds as received in the County financial system to show the appropriation to the department that will administer the expenditure of the grant and any matching funds, provided that the Director of Finance shall send a report to the County Executive and the Council Administrator that, for each grant, describes the grant, the amount of the appropriation, the department responsible for administration of the grant and, if applicable, the resolution that approved the application for the grant. The report shall be submitted by the end of each fiscal year and included in the notes to the financial statements of the annual audit.