Comptroller v. Wynne: A Rough Day for Maryland Localities
At long last, the Supreme Court today issued its ruling affirming the decision of the Maryland Court of Appeals in Comptroller v. Wynne, 431 Md. 147 (2013). The Supreme Court’s opinion is here. Justice Alito wrote for the 5-to-4 majority, holding that Maryland’s income tax scheme violates the dormant commerce clause. In the kind of unusual lineup we expect in dormant commerce clause cases, Justices Scalia, Thomas, Ginsburg, and Kagan dissented.
The decision could cost Maryland and its localities $200 million in tax refunds. Although the taxpayers were disputing their Howard County income tax, the hardest-hit locality is Montgomery County, which has many residents who earn income in Washington, D.C. or Virginia.