WMAR: Maryland Comptroller working to reunite you with your money

BALTIMORE (WMAR) - In a take on "Taken," Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot shows off his certain set of skills - reuniting people with their money. Franchot, who portrays Liam Neeson, tells the mysterious caller that he will find the caller and return any unclaimed money to him. The annual spoof serves as an awareness campaign for the unclaimed property list. Thousands of unclaimed accounts are sent to the state every year. They come from banks and businesses who are unable to track down the owners of safe deposit boxes or check recipients. Some of the items include jewelry, coins, and other collectibles. If the owner doesn't come forward, the Comptroller's Office will auction off items on

Daily Record: Hogan, Franchot play greatest hits on latest tour stop

GLEN BURNIE — An unsuccessful attempt to unfetter the state’s craft brewing industry will return to Annapolis in 2019 “with more bells and whistles,” if Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot has his way. Franchot made the promise Thursday to bring back his top priority next year while sitting next to Gov. Larry Hogan, who said if he wins re-election in November, he will redraw the electoral map in a way that may make Democrats regret killing his attempts at reform over the last three years. The pair spoke to a gathering of business leaders at luncheon organized by the Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce. While not the first roadshow for the pair, it was the first time they have appeared togeth

Herald-Mail: Maryland seizes $50,000 in illegal cigarettes during I-81 traffic stop

Hundreds of cartons of unstamped cigarettes worth nearly $50,000 were seized last week by Maryland State Police and agents of the Maryland Comptroller's Office during a traffic stop on Interstate 81, according to Comptroller Peter Franchot. Agents from the Comptroller's Field Enforcement Division (FED) assisted state police Wednesday in a traffic stop and investigation of three retail stores resulting in the confiscations, a news release said. At 1 p.m., FED agents assisted a trooper who stopped a 2017 Dodge Caravan with Missouri plates for a traffic violation on I-81 just south of Exit 9. Agents seized 7,700 packs of unstamped cigarettes, as well as the van, the news release said. The seize

Star Democrat: Longtime educator, business owner honored

EASTON — Longtime educator, businesswoman and Talbot County native Charlene Caldwell DeShields has been excelling at two jobs for a long time. So has her cousin Ricky Caldwell and his associate Leroy Potter. That’s the way they were raised, and their heritage of industriousness and service to Talbot County Public Schools and to the wider community attracted the notice of Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, who recognized them for their contributions on Thursday, April 19. DeShields is the owner of the 83-year-old Caldwell Shoe Repair at 15 N. West St. in Easton, a shop she inherited from her father upon his passing in 1997. She also teaches first grade at Easton Elementary School — Dobson.

Herald-Mail: Commissioners give Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot a warm welcome

Peter Franchot likes to come to Western Maryland. That is at least partly because the Maryland comptroller usually gets a friendly reception here, as he did Friday from the Washington County Commissioners when he stopped by on a swing through Western Maryland. "We see you quite a bit, and we take notice of that," Commissioner Wayne K. Keefer said. Though Western Maryland is predominantly Republican and Franchot is a Democrat, he sometimes finds the climate a bit warmer here than with members of his own party in Annapolis. This year was a prime example — in the closing weeks of the Maryland General Assembly, Democrats in the legislature closed ranks to approve a measure that removes the Board

Star Democrat: Franchot visits historic Easton business

EASTON — It’s been a small business anchor here since the Great Depression, and Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot paid a visit on Thursday, April 19, to honor its hard-working owner and craftsmen. Cobbler Leroy Potter, 67, figures the family-owned Caldwell Shoe Repair has had at least a half million shoes come across its workbenches during its 83-year history. “Thank you for all your many years of hard work,” Franchot said. “Thank you for strengthening the community.” Franchot brought his brown leather jacket and handed it to Potter and fellow cobbler Ricky Caldwell after shaking their hands. “It’s really worn out, but it’s my favorite thing,” he said. “I’ve had it for 25 years.” The state

Baltimore Business Journal: Franchot calls General Assembly move to alter Md. pension system board &

A last-minute bill passed by the General Assembly involving Maryland's $50 billion pension fund has become the latest point of contention in the ongoing feud between Comptroller Peter Franchot and top Democratic lawmakers. In a move described by Franchot as "deeply troubling" and "irresponsible," the General Assembly passed an amended bill requiring the Maryland treasurer to serve as chairman for the State Retirement and Pension System's board of trustees. Franchot has sent a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan requesting a veto, while other members of the board have called the legislature's move "bizarre" and "wacky." The bill in question, Senate Bill 178, was originally meant to codify the way newl

Southern Maryland News Net: Franchot’s Field Enforcement Division Agents Seize $24,000 in Untaxed To

Comptroller Peter Franchot announced that agents for his Field Enforcement Division seized untaxed non-premium cigars at a Prince George’s County store during an April 10 inspection. Morud Hossain, 28, of Suitland, owner of Smoke Shop Inc., trading as Discount Tobacco and Vapor Shop in Capitol Heights, faces a criminal citation of willful possession, sale or offer to sell untaxed other tobacco products (OTP). Agents seized 24,193 sticks of OTP with a retail value of $24,193 and representing a tax loss of $16,935.10. “The hardworking employees of the Field Enforcement Division are always on the lookout for those trying to cheat the system,” Comptroller Franchot said. “Their dedication to find

TheBayNet.com: More tax preparers flagged for possible fraud

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Comptroller Peter Franchot announced today that his office has stopped processing electronic tax returns from 20 more tax preparers at 20 locations in Maryland, Virginia and Georgia. The immediate suspensions were due to a high volume of questionable returns received. This adds to the list of 54 preparers previously flagged since the 2018 tax season began in January. The complete list of blocked preparers is available on the agency' website. "Even as we approach the end of the 2018 tax season, protecting taxpayers from unscrupulous tax preparers and ensuring fraudulent refunds are not paid out is a year-round job for my dedicated staff," Comptroller Franchot said. "Our Ques

WBAL News Radio: Franchot Plans To Campaign Against Senate President Miller

Comptroller Peter Franchot isn't joining the rah-rahs and backslapping that he feels traditionally follows the end of the General Assembly. Instead, he's already turning an eye to campaign season, and to unseating a top Democrat. State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller is in Franchot's crosshairs, he told Brett Hollander, and he's planning to campaign in Miller's district, which includes parts of Calvert, Charles and Prince George's counties. "It's going to be a battle between good govt and the machine, which he represents, between Maryland citizens and his cronies and between transparency and bosses in the backroom, and he's the boss of bosses," Franchot said. "What he's constructed

Kent County News: Comptroller visits Chestertown, honors Goodall

CHESTERTOWN — Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot visited Chestertown Tuesday, giving awards and commendations to local businesses and their owners. Franchot presented the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award for Kent County to Dixon Valve and Coupling CEO Dick Goodall. Franchot said his creation of the award was to honor namesake, William Donald Schaefer, former Baltimore mayor, governor and comptroller. “If you go to his tombstone, where he rests in peace, he doesn’t have anything about being governor of the state, anything about being comptroller or the four-term mayor of Baltimore city, none of that on his tombstone,” Franchot said. “It’s just his name, his dates and two words: ‘

Daily Record: Franchot declares war on his party’s leadership

ANNAPOLIS — On a day when the legislature slowly wound down the final hours of the 2018 session, a longtime Democrat and former lawmaker rolled a political grenade into the State House and declared war on the leaders of his own party. Comptroller Peter Franchot on Monday called for the election-year ouster of Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., House Speaker Michael E. Busch and their lieutenants. “I’m here to reform a party that I love, the Democratic Party, and we’re going to do #DisruptTheMachine and #ForThePeople and we’re going to remind Democrats about the principles and values that they all adhere to,” said Franchot following a union rally focused on defeating Miller in June.

WMAR: FED Agents Seize $32,000 in Untaxed Cigars

(WMAR) - Agents and inspectors from Comptroller Peter Franchot's Field Enforcement Division seized untaxed cigars from two stores in Prince George's and Baltimore counties, officials said Friday. During inspections conducted Wednesday and Thursday, a total of 32,772 cigars were confiscated, valued at an estimated $32,722, with a potential state sales tax loss of nearly $23,000. The two store owners – Aruna Sharma who owns the Cherry Lane Exxon in Laurel, Md., and Baljit Singh who owns the 6-Eleven Stop Convenience & Deli Inc. in Dundalk, Md. – face criminal charges of willful possession, sale or offer to sell untaxed other tobacco products. Since July 1, 2017, FED agents have arrested and ch

WBAL TV: Comptroller warns Marylanders to beware of tax scams (VIDEO)

Video available at http://www.wbaltv.com/article/comptroller-warns-marylanders-to-beware-of-tax-scams/19703119 BALTIMORE — As Marylanders are filing tax returns, criminals are hard at work trying to scam taxpayers out of money. While there are several versions of tax scams, one of the most common is by phone. Oftentimes the scheme involves a person calling to say a taxpayer owes taxes and will be arrested to face huge fines if they don't pay right away. The scammer claims the taxpayer can pay their debts using a gift card, other prepaid cards or wire transfers. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said people fall for this every year. "It's a big problem. Seniors are targets to thinking th

Baltimore Sun: Lawmakers override Gov. Hogan's veto, changing decades-old process to decide whic

In the final twist of a political power struggle in Annapolis, the Maryland General Assembly on Thursday overrode Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill that strips away his role in awarding hundreds of millions of dollars annually in school construction projects. The veto override ends a whirlwind political spat and changes a decades-old process to determine when schools across the state get built or renovated. The state had relied on the three-member Board of Public Works — consisting of Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp — to make final decisions about school construction projects. Starting in June, that power will rest with a new commission made up of appointees of the

Baltimore Sun: Maryland Gov. Hogan vetoes bill to overhaul school construction approval process, dra

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan pulled out a stamp and a red marker Wednesday to dramatically veto a bill that would overhaul the state process for vetting and approving construction and renovation of schools. Comptroller Peter Franchot joined him in ceremonially signing on to the veto at the weekly meeting of the Board of Public Works, and both men had sharp words for lawmakers considering an override of the veto. “I can only assume that some legislators maybe had no idea what they were voting for when their party leaders forced them to pass this horrible bill,” the Republican governor said. “Let me be very, very clear: Anyone who votes to override this veto will be voting against transparency, a

Herald-Mail: Letter to the Editor: About doing away with the Maryland Board of Public Works

“I have a question for Marylanders: Why do we have a governor if the Democratic legislators keep passing bills to usurp his authority? Now, they want to do away with the Board of Public Works because Franchot does not agree with what they want to do and he’s a Democrat. So, they’re rushing a bill through to do away with the Board of Public Works. This board has worked just fine since the Schaefer administration back in the 80s. So, why do they want to change it now? Because, they can’t get their way in Annapolis. This is just politics at its worst in the state of Maryland.” — Bill Middlekauff, Frederick, Md.

Dundalk Eagle: Free tax assistance available for military members and families

Comptroller Peter Franchot and the IRS are reminding military members and their families that they can get free state tax assistance at 12 Comptroller branch offices and tax help through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. A VITA site is easy to find on or off base — even overseas. The Armed Forces Tax Council directs the military tax programs worldwide. Military VITA-certified employees receive training on military tax issues, including tax benefits for service in a combat zone. They can help with special extension of time to file tax returns and pay taxes, or with special rules that apply to the Earned Income Tax Credit. Members of the military going to a VITA site for thei

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