Attorney Diane Feuerherd
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Diane E. Feuerherd Prevails To Invalidate Montgomery County’s Application of Farmland Transfer Tax

Posted October 16, 2015 at 7:15 PM

In a case of first impression before Maryland's highest court, Miller, Miller & Canby attorney Diane E. Feuerherd successfully challenged Montgomery County's improper overcharge of the County’s farmland transfer tax.  When agricultural property in Montgomery County is sold, the State of Maryland and Montgomery County each assess a transfer tax.  The County's transfer tax, however, must be reduced so that the combined, total rate is 6%.
In this case, in assessing the County’s farmland transfer tax, Montgomery County chose to disregard a portion of the State’s tax, a “surcharge” of 25% of the State’s agricultural transfer tax, and assessed a combined total transfer tax of 7% against the sale in lieu of condemnation of a family farm in Germantown, Maryland.  Miller, Miller & Canby advocated that the County’s overcharge of its farmland transfer tax must be refunded at every stage of the appeal.  After briefing and argument in the Court of Special Appeals, that Court certified the appeal to the Court of Appeals which issued a writ of certiorari.  In the precedential Montgomery County v. Phillips opinion, the Court of Appeals adopted the statutory interpretation and reasoning advanced by Miller, Miller & Canby attorneys, held that the “surcharge” was part of the State’s agricultural transfer tax subject to the 6% total rate of tax, and ordered that the overcharge of the County farmland transfer tax be refunded with interest.

Diane Feuerherd is an Associate in Miller, Miller & Canby’s litigation practice group. She concentrates her practice in appellate, commercial, and business litigation. In addition to her success in Montgomery County v. Phillips, Diane successfully argued before the Montgomery County Board of Appeals and the Montgomery County Circuit Court in challenging the validity of Montgomery County’s “Rain Tax.”

Miller, Miller & Canby has more than 60 years of tax litigation and trial experience. Our goal is to provide value to clients, which we define as the maximum savings of tax dollars at the earliest possible stage in the appeal process. We are skilled and tenacious advocates, with a proven track record of success for our clients. Click here to learn more about our litigation practice.