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(Appeal Tax Court)

Series Description

The Appeal Tax Court was created in 1841 as a result of legislation enacted by the Maryland General Assembly reviving direct taxation for state use. This municipal body which was annually appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council, consisted of the collector and two assessors. The court was authorized to review the assessments, allow transfers of property, correct assessment errors, and make abatements when loss or destruction of property occurred. Its main task was to annually survey the city to discover new property susceptible to taxation.

The form and function of the Appeal Tax Court seems to have remained essentially the same with few minor changes. Between 1861 and 1866 the tasks of the commissioners for opening streets (laying out, opening, extending, widening and straightening streets) were appended to this body. Between 1846 and the late 1870's a Board of Control and Review existed when general reassessments were to be compiled. This body was given all the duties of the Appeal Tax Court review including appeals and the recording of alterations and corrections. However, when the work was completed, records and functions were reassumed by the Court. Commencing in the mid-1870's plats were submitted to the court to enable the examination of building permits. In 1898, under the new municipal charter, the court became a division of the Department of Review and Assessments and Appeals. The Appeal Tax Court finally came to an end in 1947. Its duties were assigned to the Department of Assessments and the Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals. The Department of Assessments took over the responsibilities of "discovering, assessing and listing all real and personal property" and the Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals assumed all complaints and appeals regarding assessments.

More detailed information about the functions of the Appeal Tax Court is available in ordinance 1 (1841); ordinance 9 (1844); ordinance 71 (1846); ordinance 4 (1861); article 4, sects. 842-50, Public Local Laws of City of Baltimore, comp. John Prentiss Poe (Annapolis: State of Maryland, 1890); sects. 145-71, 1898 charter; article 4 sects. 146-71, Public Local Laws (City of Baltimore), comp. Horace E. Flack (Baltimore King Bros. Inc. 1938); and article 4, sect. 123, Charter and Public Local Laws of Baltimore City, comp. Horace E. Flack (Baltimore: King Bros. Inc. 1949).

There are a few volumes of records preceding 1841. Although not technically part of the Appeal Tax Court these documents which were similar and few in number have been maintained over the years as part of the series described below.

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Found 15 total items for this series.
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DateSeries NameDescriptionMSA Citation
  Details1839-1865General Administrative FilesThese are incomplete records pertaining to the general functions of the Appeal Tax Court, including review of assessment appeals, abatements, assessors1807-1828 reports, notes pertaining to buildings subject to taxation, insolvencies, lists of bank, turnpike company, and railroad and industry stockholders, sales of properties for back taxes, and work of the board of control and review. Also included is an unindexed group of miscellaneous administrative material dating from 1839 to 1851. Records span from 1839-54, 1856, 1860-62, and 1864-65. See separate item index.BRG5-1
  Details1825-1827Minutes of the City Tax CommissionersMeetings of the commissioners about tax assessment complaints, changes in assessments, and tax sales.BRG5-2
  Details1824-1885Abatement Ledgers and JournalsA series of overlapping ledgers and journals recording abatements of assessments and other results of the appeal process. Volumes generally show the reasons for the assessment reductions, the amount, and miscellaneous notes regarding the case. The journals, consisting of 20 vols., cover 1824-32, 1841-62, 1867-71.BRG5-3
  Details1842-1866Assessment Additions and ExemptionsIncomplete series of records recording new properties available for assessment, taxation, and exemptions. Volumes for additions cover 1842-45, Wards 1 through 10, and 1858-66, Ward 19. Each volume contains a name index.BRG5-4
  Details1898-1905Appeal Tax Court DocketsDockets, including notes of case, petitions, and decisiions. Each volume contains a name index.BRG5-5
  Details1861-1914Maryland Corporation Stock RecordsRecord of shares owned by city residents including name of corporation, number of shares, value per share, and aggregate value. Records are maintained to assist assessments.BRG5-6
  Details1813-1857Property Transfers and ReleasesRecords for 1813-35, 1847-52, and 1857 of transfers and releases of property noting parties involved, description of property, and value of property. Records were maintained to assist assessments. Each volume has a name index.BRG5-7
  Details1853, 1855-1869Mortgage ReleasesRecord of mortgages exchanged between parties with value of mortgage. Records maintained to assist assessments.BRG5-8
  Details1849-1867Property Judgement RecordsRecord of judgements in Court of Common Pleas and Baltimore City Superior Court relating to property, mortgages, and stocks. Records are maintained for the use of the Appeal Tax Court in assessments.BRG5-9
  Details1856Baltimore City Stock RecordRecord of holders of the Baltimore City six percent stock issued for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Record shows name of owner and value of stock. Maintained for the use of the Appeal Tax Court in assessments.BRG5-10
  Details1853-1854Appeal Tax Court LetterbookCorrespondence of the Appeal Tax Court with the City Collector, Register, Auditor, State Treasurer, and State Comptroller. Subjects include abatements, assessments, Maryland direct taxes, and stocks.BRG5-11
  Details1846-1901Minutes of the Board of Control and ReviewMinutes of this board with reference to reassessment of the city property. Includes information on legislation, instructions to assessors, supervision of assessors, appeals, and related problems in the completion of work.BRG5-12
  Details1906-1907Tax Schedules of the State Deposit and Trust CompanyIncludes financial information pertaining to abatements and assessments of personal and estate property managed by this company.BRG5-13
  Details1859-1863Minutes of the Board of ArbitrationVolume details the activities of the board's responsibility to adjust and correct disputed tax assessments with information pertaining to a number of specific cases.BRG5-14
  Details1901-1904Assessments Against Banks, Distillers, and Incorporated CompaniesRecord of tax assessments charged by the State Tax Commissioners with collection information.BRG5-15
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