The state comptroller's office has issued a warning to residents of Baltimore, Prince George's, Montgomery, Talbot and Allegany counties to check the amount of state and local taxes withheld from their paychecks -- if they don't want a nasty surprise next year.
Those counties have raised their portion of Maryland's local piggyback tax, but the amount withheld from their residents' paychecks may not have changed, or changed enough.
If residents of those counties don't act quickly, they could find themselves owing money next spring instead of getting a refund.
Baltimore, Allegany and Montgomery counties have raised their share of the state income tax from 50 percent to 55 percent.
Prince George's and Talbot went straight to the new maximum (( of 60 percent.
Allegany and Montgomery voted to adopt the 60 percent maximum, too, but won't start collecting it until 1993.
James R. Gibson Jr., Baltimore County finance director, said county workers who also live in the county have had slightly more money withheld from their paychecks since July 1.
He said the increase typically amounts to less than $5 a week, and several county employees questioned at random yesterday
said they hadn't noticed the difference at all.
Marvin Bond, spokesman for state Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein, said residents of the affected counties should now ask their employers to begin withholding 6.6 percent more than was withheld before July 1.
Many people are confused by the difference between where they live and where they work, he said.
The higher tax rates only apply to those who live in the affected counties, not for those who, for example, work in Baltimore County but live in Harford or Carroll counties.
Mr. Bond said new withholding guides were issued to employers in June.
They include tables that reflect the new local income tax rates, as well as a new 6 percent state tax bracket for those with incomes above $100,000.