Goldstein Treasury Building
80 Calvert St.
Annapolis, MD 21404 - 0466


The office of the Comptroller of the Treasury was established by the Constitution of 1851. The Constitution enumerates the Comptroller's duties, beginning with the broad mandate to exercise "general superintendence over the fiscal affairs of the State, preparing plans for the improvement and management of revenue to support the public credit." More specifically, the Comptroller is to "preserve all public accounts, and decide on the forms of keeping and stating accounts"; to "grant, under regulations prescribed by law, all warrants for money to be paid out of the Treasury"; and to "superintend and enforce the prompt collection of all taxes and revenues." The Comptroller (or deputies) countersigns all checks drawn by the State Treasurer upon the deposits of the State. The Comptroller prescribes the formalities for the transfer of other evidence of the State debt and countersigns such papers.

The Comptroller administers and collects the following taxes: income tax, both personal and corporate; retail sales and use taxes; motor vehicle fuel tax; road tax on motor carriers; State tobacco tax; Maryland estate tax; and excise taxes on beer, wine, and liquor. Also administered by the Comptroller are the Abandoned Property and Dormant Bank Account Laws. Revenues collected by the Maryland Racing Commission, as well as motor vehicle revenues, are distributed to political subdivisions by the Comptroller's Office. Admissions and amusement tax revenues are collected by the Tax Compliance Division, at rates set by local officials, and distributed to political subdivisions.

The Comptroller prescribes the form of all licenses required by the State licensing laws, which are issued through the Clerks of the Courts of the various counties. Each month the Comptroller collects license revenues, State property transfer taxes, death taxes, and real and personal property taxes from the Clerks of the Courts, Registers of Wills, and County Treasurers of each county. Distribution of certain taxes and revenue is made to the cities, towns, and counties of the State and to other State agencies as prescribed by law (Code 1957, Art. 78B, sec. 19; Code Tax - General Article, secs. 2-201 through 2-203, 2-301, 2-302, 2-606 through 2-609, 2-614, 2-617, 2-901, 2-902, 2-1001 through 2-1004, 2-1506; Code Transportation Article, secs. 8-401 through 8-407).

By law, the Comptroller of the Treasury serves on the Board of Public Works; the Board of Revenue Estimates; the Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority; the Banking Board; the Capital Debt Affordability Committee; the Maryland Food Center Authority; the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation. The Comptroller also serves on the Board of State Canvassers; the Hall of Records Commission; the State Use Industries Advisory Committee; the Maryland State Employees Surety Bond Committee; the State Employees' Health Insurance Advisory Council; and the Board of Trustees for Maryland State Retirement and Pension Systems.

The Comptroller is elected by popular vote for a term of four years (Const., Art. VI, sec. 1). The number of terms a Comptroller may serve is not limited. Neither the Constitution nor the Annotated Code of Maryland states qualifications for this office. Yet, the Comptroller must give a bond and keep the office at the seat of government. The Comptroller begins his duties on the third Monday in January following election.

The Office of Comptroller of the Treasury is organized under two main functions: Administration, and Revenue Operations.


Formed in 1994, Administration is responsible for four units: the Board of Revenue Estimates; the Central Payroll Bureau; the Data Processing Division; and the General Accounting Division.


P. O. Box 466
Goldstein Treasury Building
Annapolis, MD 21404 - 0466

Created in 1945, the Board of Revenue Estimates is concerned with revenues that will fund State government (Chapter 991, Acts of 1945). The Board studies the findings and recommendations of the Bureau of Revenue Estimates. The Board then sends to the Governor, for submission to the General Assembly, an itemized statement of anticipated revenues for the next fiscal year. With the itemized statement, the Board submits its recommendations to the Governor.

The Board has three ex officio members. The Director of the Bureau of Revenue Estimates serves as Executive Secretary (Code State Finance and Procurement Article, secs. 6-101, 6-102, 6-106).

P. O. Box 466
Goldstein Treasury Building
Annapolis, MD 21404 - 0466

The Bureau of Revenue Estimates was established in 1945 (Chapter 991, Acts of 1945). The Bureau studies and analyzes all sources of revenue to operate State government. For the Board of Revenue Estimates, the Bureau prepares an analysis of the State's economic outlook, and the itemized statement of anticipated revenue. The Bureau also devises equitable and economical means to collect such revenue and may recommend new revenue sources.


P. O. Box 2396
Annapolis Data Center
Annapolis, MD 21404 - 2396

The Central Payroll Bureau is responsible for issuing paychecks to all State employees, except those in the Mass Transit Administration. The Bureau handles deductions, payroll taxes, federal withholding (W-2) forms, and other payroll reports for State government.

Formed in 1953, the Central Payroll Bureau was authorized several years earlier by the Board of Public Works. The Bureau was created to begin a standardized system of paying wages to State government employees. Prior to its formation, each agency issued paychecks. Thereafter, the Bureau (beginning with just a few agencies) extended a uniform payroll system throughout State government.

Originally, the Comptroller of the Treasury and the State Treasurer jointly exercised supervision over the Bureau. This arrangement ended in 1958. Since that time, the Bureau has reported directly to the Comptroller.

The Bureau is organized into three sections: Accounting and Reporting; Administration; and Payroll Operations.


P. O. Box 2367
Annapolis Data Center
Annapolis, MD 21404 - 2367

The Data Processing Division was created in 1967. Through the Division, the Comptroller operates a large computer center in Annapolis. The center provides local and remote computer services via terminals and communications networks for all divisions under the Comptroller, thirteen major departments of State government, and many small agencies. Operating costs are reimbursed by the using agencies.

Under the Division are three units: Administrative Services; the Annapolis Data Center; and the Applications and Systems Center.


P. O. Box 0746
Goldstein Treasury Building
Annapolis, MD 21404 - 0746

The General Accounting Division was the original office of the State Comptroller, created with the establishment of the office in 1851. The Division maintains the State's general ledger and other accounting records. The Division accounts for all State funds received and disbursed and countersigns and distributes all State Treasury checks.

The Division consists of two sections: Administration, Data Processing, and Post-Audits; and Financial Reporting, Operations, and Pre-Audits.


Revenue Operations was organized in 1994. It oversees the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Unit, the Motor Fuel Tax Unit, and three divisions: Administration and Finance; Compliance; and Revenue Administration.


P. O. Box 2999
Goldstein Treasury Building
Annapolis, MD 21404 - 2999

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Unit began in 1936 as the Alcoholic Beverages Division. It was consolidated with the Tobacco Tax Unit in 1975 as the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division. In 1993, the Division was renamed the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Unit.

The Unit enforces certain alcoholic beverage and tobacco tax laws. Through the Unit, the Comptroller controls, regulates, and issues licenses for the manufacture, sale, transportation, and distribution of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes into, within, and from Maryland. Twenty types of permits related to these activities are issued. The Unit also regulates advertising, promotional activities, and other trade practices in the alcohol and cigarette industries.

Under the Unit are two sections: Administration, and Trade Practices.


To consolidate administrative functions of the Comptroller of the Treasury, the Budget and Finance Division was formed in 1994. It was renamed the Administration and Finance Division in 1996.

The Division is responsible for finance, procurement, and personnel. It also oversees fleet management, telecommunications, mail, and print services. In addition, the Division administers the Maryland estate tax, capital grants, loan funds, and records of the bonded debt of the State for General Obligation Bonds.


301 West Preston St., 3rd floor
Baltimore, MD 21201

The Compliance Division was created in 1993. It consolidates certain functions of the former Sales and Use Tax Division and the former Income Tax Division.

The Division is responsible for eight sections: Business Tax Audits; Collections; Compliance Programs; Fiscal Administration; Hearings and Appeals; Investigative Services; Special Projects; Systems Support; and Unclaimed Property.

The Business Tax Audits Section audits all business taxes administered by the Comptroller. These taxes include alcohol and tobacco, corporate income, motor fuel, and sales and use. The Compliance Programs Section oversees Business Nexus Programs, Criminal Investigations, Individual Nexus Programs, the Special Events Unit, and the State License Bureau. The Hearings and Appeals Section hears and issues decisions on all contested tax assessments.

The Collections Section collects delinquent and deficient taxes administered by the Comptroller. These include personal income tax, employer withholding, sales and use tax, admissions and amusement tax, corporate income tax, and the tire fee. The Investigative Services Section is responsible for enforcing certain laws concerning motor fuel, the alcohol and tobacco tax, and all transient vendors; motor fuel inspections; and the motor fuel testing laboratory. The Fiscal Administration Section provides fiscal support for budget, payroll, and Division purchasing.

The Special Projects Section provides data processing for specialized needs in the Division, including long-term projects. The Unclaimed Property Section administers the Uniform Disposition of Abandoned Property Act. The Systems Support Section processes data for the Division.


P. O. Box 1751
Goldstein Treasury Building
Annapolis, MD 21401 - 1751

The Motor Fuel Tax Unit originated in 1929 as the Gasoline Tax Division. In 1989, the Division was renamed the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax Division and, in 1993, the Motor Fuel Tax Unit.

The Unit administers the Motor Fuel Tax and Motor Carrier Tax Laws for the purpose of collecting motor fuel and road use taxes. The Unit registers and licenses motor fuel dealers, diesel fuel sellers and users, and motor carriers. For quality control, the Unit also administers and enforces the Motor Fuel and Lubricants Law by registering and regulating entities that store, sell, and transport motor fuel.

The Unit is responsible for two offices: Administration, and Registration.


Revenue Administration Center
110 Carroll St.
Annapolis 21411

The Revenue Administration Division was created in July 1993, when the revenue divisions of the Comptroller of the Treasury were reorganized from a tax-type to a functional basis. The Division receives and processes tax returns and payments from individuals, corporations, businesses, employers, and fiduciaries. Part of the revenue received is distributed to Maryland's county and municipal governments.

The Division is composed of six sections: Administration; Returns Processing; Revenue Accounting; System Applications Control; Taxpayer Accounting; and Taxpayer Services.

Maryland Constitutional Offices & Agencies

Maryland Manual On-Line

 Maryland Manual On-Line, 1998

July 10, 1998   
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