Court Decision On Land Held Blow To Farmers

January 28, 1960

On January 19 the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that Maryland’s Farm Assessment Act is unconstitutional. This law was enacted in 1936 and permitted lower tax assessments on land used for agricultural purposes.

The higher court’s decision was in accord with a ruling by Judge McGill in Howard County Circuit Court in a validity test case instituted by three land owners who had been denied the special agricultural classification by the Tax Commission. It was the State Tax Commission that appealed the decision, arguing the special classification for farm land was constitutional. At the time Maryland Farm Bureau filed a brief “AMICUS CURIAE.” (Friend of the Court).

Farm Bureau, as the voice of agriculture representing over 10,000 Maryland farmers, announced it intends to “take vigorous action to insure fairness regarding land assessments on all farm property”.

“Obviously, farmers are in a different classification regarding land ownership and use than are owners of land to be used for housing developments shoppers centers, and so forth. Encroachment on rural property for the later purposes has for some years past been of grave concern to all interested in agricultural pursuit.

“If farm land adjacent to metropolitan centers such as Baltimore and Washington, for example is to be reassessed at a high rate it will not be economically possible for the farmers who own the land to continue their farming operation.”

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: