Maryland Taxation

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Why Use Tax Records[edit | edit source]

By studying several consecutive years of tax records you may determine when a young men came of age, when individuals moved in and out of a home, or when they died leaving heirs. Authorities determined wealth (real estate, or income) to be taxed. Taxes can be for polls, real and personal estate, or schools.

Tax record content varies and may include the name and residence of the taxpayer, description of the real estate, name of original purchaser, description of personal property, number of males over 21, number of school children, slaves, and farm animals. Tax records usually are arranged by date and locality and are not normally indexed. Tax records can be used in place of missing land and census records to locate a person’s residence. person’s residence.

How to Use Tax Records for Maryland[edit | edit source]

County Level[edit | edit source]

The earliest tax records are to be found among the proprietary papers, dating from the 1630's. Some early tax records have been published. Such as:

  • 1699-1706 (Washington DC.; By Raymond B. Clark Jr., and Sara Seth Clark, comps Baltimore County, Maryland Tax Lists 1699-1706) Check WorldCat to find the nearest Location for this book.[1]

A published transcription of rent rolls from two counties is:

  • Maryland Rent Rolls: Baltimore and Anne Arundel Counties, 1700-1707, 1705-1724. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. (Family History Library book 975.2 R2m.) This work shows residence and sometimes contains clues about marriages and places of origin. It is indexed. (click on WorldCat to find other locations for this book)

State Level[edit | edit source]

  • 1862-1866 Internal revenue assessment lists for Maryland Internal revenue assessment lists were created into divisions called Districts, each county is put into a district. County names are arranged alphabetically within the division and then within months. The following is a list of counties placed in which district. (knowing the district and county your ancestor lived in will make searching this years taxes list a little faster)
    (once on page scroll down to district desired and click on camera to open)

U.S. Internal Revenue Assessment Lists. Three types of Reports: A=Annual; M=Monthly; S=Special Years and Reports may be different.

DISTRICT 1 Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Annes, Somerset, Talbot and Worcester
DISTRICT 2 Baltimore city (wards 1-7) and Baltimore (districts 5-7, 9-12) and Harford
DISTRICT 3 Blatimore city (wards 8-20);
DISTRICT 4 Allegany, Carroll, Frederick and Washington
DISTRICT 5 Anne Arundel, Baltimore (districts 1-4, 8, 13), Calvert, Charles, Howard, Montgomery, Prince Georges and St. Marys

Published Books[edit | edit source]

  • At the Maryland State Archives is a tax list for St. Anne's Parish, Anne Arundel County (1764'66). Also here are the surviving 1798 U.S. direct tax records for Anne Arundel County (indexed), Baltimore County and City, and the counties of Caroline, Charles, Harford, Prince George's, Queen Anne's, Saint Mary's, Somerset, and Talbot. [2]
  • Separate volumes of the 1798 U.S. Direct Tax lists have been published for Baltimore, Carroll, and Somerset counties. Richard J. Cox edited A Name Index to the Baltimore City Tax Records, 1798'1808, of the Baltimore City Archives (Baltimore: Baltimore City Archives and Records Management Office, 1981).[3]

Calvert Papers:[edit | edit source]

The papers include quitrents, debt books, wills, marriage settlements, court records, land records, and family papers.

  • The Family History Library, Cox, Richard J., ed. Calvert Papers. Baltimore, Maryland: Maryland Historical Society, 1973. (Family History Library films 1685848-874.) (link to online copy listed above)

A guide to the microfilm edition is available for purchase from the Maryland Historical Society and at the Family History Library, book 975.2 A3e. There is also a descriptive summary on the Maryland Historical Society website to help with the film series. (Click on WorldCat to find other locations for this Guide)

  • Baltimore City tax records for 1798 to 1896 are on microfilm at the Baltimore City Archives.
  • The land office rent rolls and debt books at the Maryland State Archives are described in Maryland Land and Property.
  • Later Tax lists are at the Maryland State Archives or in the local county offices.

Baltimore City Archives
2615 Mathews Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
Main: (410) 260-6400 - Toll Free: (800) 235-4045
You must make an appointment to visit.

Maryland State Archives
350 Rowe Blvd
Annapolis, MD 21401
Archives of Maryland Online

Tax money bag.jpg

Tax Laws[edit | edit source]

Abraham Lincoln instituted the income tax in 1862, and on July 1, 1862, Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act, creating the Bureau of Internal Revenue (later renamed to the Internal Revenue Service). This act was intended to “provide Internal Revenue to support the Government and to pay interest on the Public Debt.” Instituted in the height of the Civil War, the “Public Debt” at the time primarily consisted of war expenses. For the Southern States that were part of the Confederate side of the Civil War, once Union troops took over parts of the Southern States, income tax were instituted on them. [4]

  • To learn more about this Collection click here
  • To learn more about the Civil War taxes click here

What history has shown us is that while property taxes are locally levied, there is significant state involvement with the amount of tax local political subdivisions can levy, how property assessments are conducted, and what services local taxing subdivisions must provide for their residents. This comes at a cost to state taxpayers, because the state has obligations it must fund as well, with a limited amount of state tax dollars.

References[edit | edit source]