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$50 Million County Revenue Case

$50 Million County Revenue Case will be heard by Marylandís Highest Court


The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear a case wherein Maryland tax rules were challenged by a Howard County business owner. The fate of $50 million worth of county revenues hangs in balance in this case which is why substantial attention is being garnered by it now. The allegation that tax collection is taking place in violation of the constitution has ensured maximum publicity for the case.


Businessman challenges tax laws with double taxation claim


Brian Wynne, the businessman from Howard County who, with his wife, has challenged tax laws here is arguing that double taxation is taking place. His stance is that this is a clear violation of the Constitution since taxpayers are being forced to pay tax twice on the same income. Maryland collects a state tax as well as a county tax and there is differential treatment of credit for  both of these. This unusual treatment with respect to the credit given for tax paid to other states lies at the center of the current conflict.


Appellate court ruling favors taxpayers but not government


In a ruling last year, the Maryland Court of Appeals accepted that the state has limited powers to tax any income that is earned outside its jurisdiction and physical boundary. While tax payers rejoiced at this ruling, it came as a big blow to Maryland local government officials since it could potentially mean enormous loss of revenues.


Apart from the substantial reduction in future tax collections, a contrary ruling could also mean that massive refunds would have to be made with immediate effect. This could have some disastrous effects on local tax collections across the country, tax experts fear. The request from the attorney generalís office asking the Supreme Court to intercede is based on this fear. The government officials also believe that the appellate courtís ruling skews Marylandís tax system and allows  a handful of residents to get disproportionate benefits without footing their share of the tax bill.


However, businessman Brian Wynne and his wife  appear to be confident that their stance will be accepted even by the Supreme Court. Their attorney says that his clients are confident that they will win the case. He believes the nationís top court will have to accept that the existing tax system has some significant adverse impact on business in Maryland which will only worsen if this system is allowed to continue here. 

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