CONSTITUTION OF MARYLAND

ARTICLE XI-E

MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS.

(added by Chapter 53, Acts of 1954, ratified Nov. 2, 1954)

SECTION 1. Except as provided elsewhere in this Article, the General Assembly shall not pass any law relating to the incorporation, organization, government, or affairs of those municipal corporations which are not authorized by Article 11-A of the Constitution to have a charter form of government which will be special or local in its terms or in its effect, but the General Assembly shall act in relation to the incorporation, organization, government, or affairs of any such municipal corporation only by general laws which shall in their terms and in their effect apply alike to all municipal corporations in one or more of the classes provided for in Section 2 of this Article. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to provide by law the method by which new municipal corporations shall be formed.

SEC. 2. The General Assembly, by law, shall classify all such municipal corporations by grouping them into not more than four classes based on populations as determined by the most recent census made under the authority of the United States or the State of Maryland. No more than one such grouping of municipal corporations into four (or fewer) classes shall be in effect at any time, and the enactment of any such grouping of municipal corporations into four (or fewer) classes shall repeal any such grouping of municipal corporations into four (or fewer) classes then in effect. Municipal corporations shall be classified only as provided in this section and not otherwise.

SEC. 3. Any such municipal corporation, now existing or hereafter created, shall have the power and authority, (a) to amend or repeal an existing charter or local laws relating to the incorporation, organization, government, or affairs of said municipal corporation heretofore enacted by the General Assembly of Maryland, and (b) to adopt a new charter, and to amend or repeal any charter adopted under the provisions of this Article.

SEC. 4. The adoption of a new charter, the amendment of any charter or local laws, or the repeal of any part of a charter or local laws shall be proposed either by a resolution of the legislative body of any such municipal corporation or by a petition containing the signatures of at least five per cent of the registered voters of a municipal corporation and filed with the legislative body of said municipal corporation. The General Assembly shall amplify the provisions of this section by general law in any manner not inconsistent with this Article.

SEC. 5. Notwithstanding any other provision in this Article, the General Assembly may enact, amend, or repeal local laws placing a maximum limit on the rate at which property taxes may be imposed by any such municipal corporation and regulating the maximum amount of debt which may be incurred by any municipal corporation. However, no such local law shall become effective in regard to a municipal corporation until and unless it shall have been approved at a regular or special municipal election by a majority of the voters of that municipal corporation voting on the question. No such municipal corporation shall levy any type of tax, license fee, franchise tax or fee which was not in effect in such municipal corporation on January 1, 1954, unless it shall receive the express authorization of the General Assembly for such purpose, by a general law which in its terms and its effect applies alike to all municipal corporations in one or more of the classes provided for in Section 2 of this Article. All charter provisions enacted under the authority of Section 3 of this Article shall be subject to any local laws enacted by the General Assembly and approved by the municipal voters under the provisions of this section.

SEC. 6. All charter provisions, or amendments thereto, adopted under the provisions of this Article, shall be subject to all applicable laws enacted by the General Assembly; except that any local laws, or amendments thereto, relating to the incorporation, organization, government, or affairs of any municipal corporation and enacted before this Article becomes effective, shall be subject to any charter provisions, or amendments thereto, adopted under the provisions of this Article. Any local law, or amendments thereto, relating to the incorporation, organization, government, or affairs of any municipal corporation and in effect at the time this Article becomes effective, shall be subject to any applicable State law enacted after this Article becomes effective. All laws enacted by the General Assembly and in effect at the time this Article becomes effective, shall remain in effect until amended or repealed in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to authorize any municipal corporation by any amendment or addition to its charter, to permit any act which is prohibited by the laws of this State concerning the observance of the Sabbath Day or the manufacture, licensing or sale of alcoholic beverages.

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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2000

July 18, 2000   
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