Dorchester County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted and amended as indicated in text.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Circuit Court — See Ch. 7.
Commissioners — See Ch. 10.
Taxation — See Ch. 144.

§ 50-1 Duties.

[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 162; 1961 Code, sec. 164; 1886, ch. 39; 1904, ch. 24; 1908, ch. 341, sec. 106 (p. 748); 1910, ch. 762, sec. 106 (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 106; 1961, ch. 25, sec. 162]
There shall be a Treasurer of Dorchester County who also shall be the Collector of all state taxes and of all county taxes for whatsoever purpose levied or to be levied for or within said county during the term of his office or that may be placed in his hands for collection, and he shall have full power and it shall be his duty to receive and collect all state and county taxes levied as aforesaid and so put in his hands for collection and all moneys due and owed to said county from any and every source whatever, and he shall disburse all said moneys under the provisions of law and under the order of the County Commissioners, with full power to enforce the payment of same by sale or otherwise and to convey the title of any real or personal estate sold by him for the payment of state or county taxes in the manner prescribed by the tax sale laws as found in Article 81 of the Annotated Code. It shall also be the duty of said Treasurer 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 by him, either to the County Commissioners or to the Treasurer of Maryland. It shall further be his duty to promptly deposit any and all moneys received by him and collected in some bank or banks or other banking institution in Dorchester County, to be designated and approved by the County Commissioners, and in designating and approving such place or places of deposit, said Commissioners shall prefer the bank or banks or other banking institution which will agree to pay interest on monthly balances or deposits rather than any bank or banks or institution which will not pay said interest, and before making said deposits, the Treasurer may require said bank, banks or other banking institution to give bond or other security to said Treasurer to guarantee the safety of said deposits, said bond or bonds or securities to be approved by said County Commissioners.

§ 50-2 Surety bond.

A. 
Oath; bond.
[P.LL, 1930, Art. 10, sec. 163; 1961 Code, sec. 165; 1908, ch. 341, sec. 107 (p. 748); 1910, ch. 762, sec. 107 (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 107; 1961, ch. 22; 1974, ch. 64, sec. 165; 1988, ch. 274]
(1) 
The Treasurer, before he enters upon the duties of his office, shall take an oath before the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Dorchester County that he will faithfully perform the duties of his office.
(2) 
The Treasurer shall execute a bond in the penalty of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.) for the faithful performance of his duties as Treasurer and Collector of Dorchester County. The bond shall be conditioned that he shall well and truly account and be liable for any and all moneys coming into his possession as Treasurer and Collector, for which he shall be answerable by law. The bond shall be secured by the fidelity or surety company qualified to act as surety or guarantor under the laws of the State of Maryland and shall be approved by the County Commissioners or a majority of them. The bond shall be recorded in the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court for the county, and the cost of the bond shall be borne by the county.
B. 
In the event of the failure of any Treasurer appointed or elected to execute the bond required and provided for by Subsection A above on or before the day upon which he is to take possession of the office of Treasurer and enter upon the duties thereof in conformity with the provisions of this section, the County Commissioners of Dorchester County shall appoint some qualified voter of Dorchester County as Treasurer and Collector during this term in the place of the one who failed to qualify and, in case of his failure to qualify within thirty (30) days, to appoint another and so on after every interval of thirty (30) days until a Treasurer shall be duly qualified.
[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 164; 1961 Code, sec. 166; 1908, ch. 341, sec. 108 (p. 748); 1910, ch. 762, sec. 108 (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 108]

§ 50-3 Vacancy.

[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 165; 1961 Code, sec. 167; 1908, ch. 341, sec. 109 (p. 748); 1910, ch. 762, sec. 109 (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 109]
In the event of the death, resignation or removal of the Treasurer during his term of office, the County Commissioners shall, within thirty (30) days thereafter, appoint a Treasurer and Collector for the unexpired term thus created, who shall take the oath, give the bond and perform all the duties of said office prescribed by law.

§ 50-4 Maintenance of books, papers and documents; transferal to successor.

[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 167; 1961 Code, sec. 169; 1908, ch. 341, sec. 111 (p. 748); 1910, ch. 762, sec. 111 (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 111]
All books, documents and papers pertaining to the County Treasurer's office shall be the property and records of Dorchester County and shall be kept in said Treasurer's office and shall at all times be subject to the examination of the County Commissioners, the grand jury of Dorchester County and any taxpayer or taxpayers of said county, and all of said books, documents and papers, accounts, credits and deposits belonging to said Treasurer's office or in the custody of said Treasurer shall be delivered up and transferred by him to his successor in office when such successor is duly elected and qualified and enters upon the duties of his office.

§ 50-5 Notice of tax levy; preparation and delivery of tax bills.

[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 168; 1961 Code, sec. 170; 1908, ch. 341, sec. 112 (p. 748); 1910, ch. 762, sec. 112 (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 112; 1963, ch. 825, sec. 13]
It shall be the duty of the Treasurer immediately after each annual levy to give notice thereof by advertisement inserted once a week for four (4) successive weeks in at least two (2) newspapers published in Dorchester County and to prepare the tax bills of each taxpayer and forward the same by mail or deliver the same to 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 Treasurer immediately succeeding said levy, and such advertisements, handbills and tax bills shall also contain a clear statement relative to the discounts to be allowed and the interest to be charged on all tax bills.

§ 50-6 Monthly reports to County Commissioners; deposits; disbursements.

[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 169; 1961 Code, sec. 171; 1908, ch. 341, sec. 113 (p. 748); 1910, ch. 762, sec. 113 (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 113; 1970, ch. 62]
The Treasurer shall report to the County Commissioners, at their first regular meeting in each month, the amount of taxes, state and county separately, collected by him up to the date of such report and the amount of disbursements made and the balance in hand. He shall deposit, at least twice a week in some bank or banks or other banking institution in Dorchester County, all taxes received or collected by him up to the date of such deposit, the portion due the state to his credit as Collector of state taxes and the portion due the county to his credit as Treasurer of Dorchester County, and he shall once a month, from and after the 15th day of September in each year, forward to the State Treasurer his check for the amount of state taxes to his credit in the bank, and the money deposited to the credit of the Treasurer of Dorchester County shall only be drawn out upon his checks, which checks shall be countersigned by the Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners or such persons as designated by the Board of County Commissioners in payment of debts and accounts due by said county, duly approved and passed by said County Commissioners and by them ordered to be paid, except in the case of witness' fees, jurors' fees, criers' fees or bailiffs' fees, such fees to be paid by the Treasurer upon the order of the Circuit Court for said county or upon the order of the Clerk of said Court, and upon the order of a Judge of the District Court of Dorchester County, he may pay the witness' fee which the state is bound to pay in criminal cases. Any taxpayer having a sum of money levied to his or her use or a debt against the county passed by said County Commissioners shall only be entitled to have the same paid after he has paid the state and county taxes levied upon his or her property and is not indebted in anywise thereof.

§ 50-7 Liability of Treasurer for bad checks.

[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 170; 1961 Code, sec. 172; 1922, ch. 101]
The Treasurer shall in no case sign any check when the money provided in the budget for the particular fund on which said check is drawn has already been exhausted, provided, further, that if said Treasurer shall sign a check or checks, the payment of which is not provided for in the budget, or shall sign a check or checks to be paid out of a fund which was provided for in the budget, but which was exhausted at the time of the signing of said check or checks, then said Treasurer and his bond shall be severally and jointly liable to the holders of said check or checks, and no suit at law or in equity shall be instituted to require the payment of said check or checks by the County Commissioners for Dorchester County.

§ 50-8 Sale of tax delinquent property.

A. 
Whenever it shall be necessary to enforce the payment of taxes by the sale of personal property, the Treasurer shall make out a bill of such taxes in the usual form, with an order at the bottom of said bill directing the Sheriff or any constable of said county to levy upon the personal property of the delinquent and to sell the same or so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy and pay the taxes due. It shall be the duty of said Sheriff or constable, 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 Judge of the District Court of Dorchester County, and he shall immediately after such sale pay over to said Treasurer the amount due on said tax bill. Any surplus which may remain after the payment of taxes, interests and costs shall be paid by the Sheriff or constable to such delinquent taxpayers, and said Sheriff's or constable's bonds shall be liable for all such tax bills placed in his hands by such Treasurer to the same extent and in the same manner that it is liable for execution claims issued to him.
[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 172; 1961 Code, sec. 174; 1908, ch. 341, sec. 115 (p. 748); 1910, ch. 762, sec. 115 (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 115]
B. 
Whenever personal property assessed to any person, set of persons or body corporate of Dorchester County is about to be sold or removed from said county by said person, set of persons or body corporate or its agent, executor, administrator, trustees or assigns, the Treasurer may, at any time after the levy of taxes for any year shall have been made by the County Commissioners, make out a bill for such taxes in the usual form, with an order at the bottom of said bill directing the Sheriff or any constable of said county to levy upon the personal property about to be sold or removed from said county and enforce the payment of the taxes on the same in the manner as provided in Subsection A of this section. For the purpose of this section, all taxes on personal property about to be sold or removed from said Dorchester County shall be taken to be due and in arrears from the date of the levy of said taxes.
[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 173; 1961 Code, sec. 175; 1908, ch. 341, sec. 115A (p. 748); 1910, ch. 762, sec. 115A (p.787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 115A]

§ 50-9 Allowance for insolvents and removals.

[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 181; 1961 Code, sec. 179; 1910, ch. 762, sec. 117B (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 117B]
The Treasurer and Collector, in the case of state taxes, shall make application to the County Commissioners for an allowance for all just claims, for insolvents and removals, and he shall append thereto his affidavit, made before said Commissioners, that he has not received and cannot collect any of the money for which such allowances are asked, and the President of the Board of County Commissioners is hereby authorized to administer such oath. Upon the presentation of such application and affidavit with the certificate of the County Commissioners appended to and endorsed thereon, setting forth that they believe the allowances claimed to be just, the Comptroller of the state shall make the allowances asked for, and the County Commissioners shall likewise, in the case of county taxes, make all just allowances for insolvents and removals upon being satisfied of the justice thereof.

§ 50-10 Reports concerning receipts and disbursements of public moneys required quarterly.

[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 182; 1961 Code, sec. 180; 1908, ch. 341, sec. 118 (p. 748); 1910, ch. 762, sec. 118 (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 118]
On the first day of August, November and February succeeding the levy of taxes and more often if the County Commissioners require it, the Treasurer shall make to said Commissioners a sworn report of the receipts and disbursements of the public moneys and funds in his hands for the three (3) preceding months, showing the sources of such receipts and the respective accounts for which such disbursements were made, and on the first day of May in each year, he shall make a similar report covering the receipts and disbursements for the preceding year, which reports shall be countersigned by the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners and then delivered to the Auditor of taxes, to be audited by him, as hereinafter provided.

§ 50-11 Disposition of moneys levied for public schools.

[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 183; 1961 Code, sec. 181; 1910, ch. 762, sec. 118A (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 118A]
The Treasurer and Collector shall pay to the Treasurer of the Board of County School Commissioners of Dorchester County all moneys levied for the support of the public schools thereof at the time and in the manner prescribed by the laws of this state.

§ 50-12 Appointment of Deputy Treasurer and clerks.

[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 184; 1961 Code, sec. 182; 1910, ch. 762, sec. 118B (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 118B; 1918, ch. 365; 1920, ch. 728, sec. 118B; 1933, ch. 360; 1943, ch. 828, sec. 184; 1945, ch. 901; 1957, ch. 357; 1961, ch. 343; 1974, ch. 64, sec. 182]
The Treasurer, subject to the consent of the County Commissioners, shall appoint an assistant to aid him in the discharge of the duties of his office as he may direct, said assistant to be known as a "Deputy Treasurer," who shall qualify under the Constitution and laws of the state and who shall give such bonds as required by law and with such security as the County Commissioners shall require and approve and in the penalty of not less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.), the premium on which shall be paid by the County Commissioners for the faithful performance of the duties assigned to said Deputy Treasurer by the Treasurer and for the faithful performance of such duties as the Deputy to the Treasurer has hitherto performed and such duties and services now required by law or which hereafter may be required of said Deputy Treasurer by law or which may devolve upon said official, and the salary of said Deputy Treasurer shall be in such amount as the County Commissioners may prescribe from time to time. The Deputy Treasurer shall assume and have the full power and authority of the Treasurer in case that official dies, is absent or is otherwise incapable of discharging the duties of his office, and, in such event, the Deputy Treasurer shall continue to discharge the duties of the Treasurer until a new Treasurer is chosen and has qualified. The Treasurer may appoint a clerk or clerks for the proper discharge of the duties of his office, subject to the consent of the County Commissioners, who shall prescribe the compensation to be paid to such clerks.

§ 50-13 Location of Treasurer's office and office hours; annual levy for salaries and expenses.

[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 185; 1961 Code, sec. 183; 1908, ch. 341, sec. 119 (p. 748); 1910, ch. 762, sec. 119 (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 119; 1961, ch. 317, sec. 185]
The County Commissioners shall provide, at the public expense, a suitable office in the courthouse for the Treasurer and furnish the same amply and conveniently for the transaction of his official business, and said office shall be open for this purpose each day on which county offices are normally open for business from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The Commissioners shall annually levy such sums as may be necessary to pay the salaries of the Treasurer and his Clerk, the costs of books, stationery and stamps in his office and all printing and advertising required under the provisions of this chapter and not otherwise provided for.

§ 50-14 Deposit of state and county taxes.

[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 186; 1961 Code, sec. 184; 1910, ch. 762, sec. 119A (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 119A]
The Treasurer 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 Commissioners a statement of deposits, showing such collections in full. 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 in the manner hereinbefore prescribed. He shall be allowed sixty (60) days from the date specified in this section for final settlement and to complete the collections thereof with said Commissioners and with the Treasurer of Maryland, respectively.

§ 50-15 Accounting and payment of state and county taxes to County Commissioners; failure of Treasurer to make payments on time.

[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 187; 1961 Code, sec. 185; 1910, ch. 762, sec. 119B (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 119B; 1963, ch. 825, sec. 13]
The Treasurer shall make monthly settlements of taxes collected by him to the County Commissioners. On the 20th day of January in each year following the levy of the taxes, the Treasurer shall have collected and paid over to the County Commissioners or to their order at least seventy percent (70%) of all the state and county taxes placed in his hands for collection under the current levy. On or before the first day of April in each year following the levy, said Treasurer shall account to the County Commissioners and pay to them or to their order one-half (1/2) of the balance of all the state and county taxes yet in his hands for collection and not paid over. On the 15th day of August in each year following the year of the levy, said Treasurer shall account and pay over to the County Commissioners all the state and county taxes previously placed in his hands for collection, less the sums allowed to said Treasurer by the County Commissioners for insolvency and removals. But if said Treasurer fails to make to said County Commissioners any payment on any of the days appointed in this section for such payment to be made, the Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners shall, without delay, report such default to said County Commissioners, and the County Commissioners may forthwith order a suit to be brought on the Treasurer's bond, but if said Treasurer fails to make the payments appointed to be made on the 15th day of August in the year following the year of the levy, the County Commissioners shall, within sixty (60) days following said 15th day of August, order a suit to be brought, without delay, on the Treasurer's bond. They shall move for judgment in the term of the court at which said suit is brought. The Treasurer is required to enforce the payment of all taxes by sale or otherwise as herein provided.

§ 50-16 Transfer of collectible taxes due to successor and subsequent responsibilities upon expiration of Treasurer's term.

[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 188; 1961 Code, sec. 186; 1908, ch. 341, sec. 120 (p. 748); 1910, ch. 762, sec. 120 (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 120]
The County Commissioners at any time after the expiration of the term of any County Treasurer or at the time of the final settlement in this section 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 case, the successor or newly elected or qualified Treasurer, 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 newly elected or succeeding Treasurer shall become responsible for the proper collection and distribution of such taxes, and the bond of the preceding Treasurer shall be held responsible for such taxes as remain uncollected from fault or negligence of his own.

§ 50-17 Issuance and effect of certificate of unpaid taxes.

[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 193; 1961 Code, sec. 189; 1910, ch. 762, sec. 121B (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 121B; 1961, ch. 319, sec. 193]
The Treasurer shall issue, when requested and upon payment of a fee of fifty cents ($0.50), a certified statement over his signature of all taxes that may be due and unpaid at the time of making said certificate and are a lien upon any certain real estate located in Dorchester County and of any tax sale affecting said piece of property since that date, and 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 or assessment omitted therefrom and which may be a lien upon the real estate mentioned therein, but said certificate shall not affect the liability therefor or 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 Treasurer shall be responsible to said county for any loss of taxes that may arise from an error in said certificate.

§ 50-18 Disposition of Treasurer's fee.

[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 194; 1961 Code, sec. 190; 1910, ch. 762, sec. 121C (p. 787); 1914, ch. 834, sec. 121C; 1920, ch. 728, sec. 121C; 1929, ch. 391; 1933, ch. 355; 1943, ch. 826; 1961, ch. 26]
All fees of every kind and description arising from the sale of property for taxes or from any other sources shall not be retained by the Treasurer, but shall be paid by him to the County Commissioners and a separate account kept thereof, and the aggregate amount of such fees shall be included in the annual budget of said Commissioners as an asset of the county.

§ 50-19 Election and qualification.

[P.L.L., 1930, Art. 10, sec. 196; 1961 Code, sec. 191; 1914, ch. 834, sec. 121E; 1935, ch. 346; 1961, ch. 319, sec. 196; 1963, ch. 501]
An election for County Treasurer shall be held at the general election in November 1938 and every four (4) years thereafter, and any County Treasurer elected in Dorchester County shall qualify on the first day of May after his election and hold office until his successor is duly elected and qualified.