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Maryland’s biggest jurisdictions are losing tax filers

Maryland’s four largest jurisdictions combined to see almost 2,000 taxpayers come off the rolls between 2009 and 2010, but the state still collected cash from more than 1,200 new filers.

An analysis of IRS taxpayer data, released Tuesday by fiscal advocacy group Change Maryland, shows that Baltimore, Baltimore County, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County all experienced declines in the number of tax filers, while smaller jurisdictions including Worcester, Kent and St. Mary’s counties experienced modest increases.

The increase in tax filers in those areas includes individuals who moved from one Maryland jurisdiction to another.

Larry Hogan, Change Maryland’s chairman, said in a statement that he was “very encouraged by how well we’re doing in the rural and outlying counties.

“These small economic engines are powering the state forward by attracting new residents,” Hogan said. “Clearly, where we need to see improvement is in our largest jurisdictions. Baltimore city is losing its tax base at unacceptable levels and Montgomery County’s stagnant tax base will further tarnish its business reputation as elected officials seek more revenue to make up for budget shortfalls.”

Baltimore lost 1.41 percent of its tax base from 2009 to 2010, according to the data. The next biggest loser was Wicomico County, which shed 0.77 percent of its base. Montgomery County lost 0.07 percent of its base.

Worcester County experienced the greatest gain, increasing tax filers by 2.07 percent.