Since taking office in 2007, Peter has transformed the agency into one of the most effective and efficient Comptroller’s Offices in the nation. Peter believes that government agencies – including his own – have a responsibility to provide the level of customer service that taxpayers expect and deserve, which is why he has and continues to emphasize the need to deliver what he calls the “Three R’s” – respect, responsiveness, and results.
That’s why he’s worked hard to modernize agency operations and services, making unprecedented levels of investment in technology and human capital to promote efficiency in taxpayer services. Each year, the Comptroller’s Office processes more than 3 million tax returns and disburses more than $2.8 billion in tax refunds in under three business days. What’s more, the agency has made it easier to file tax returns and make payments, either through its modern, state-of-the-art online services portal or the 12 regional branch offices across Maryland.
During Peter’s administration, regional branch office and call center operations have been expanded and strengthened across the entire state to ensure accessibility and convenience for taxpayers. Most recently, Peter opened the agency’s first-ever remote call center in Salisbury, adding more than 20 new jobs in that region while reducing call wait times during the busiest times of the year. During its first year in operation, the Salisbury Call Center fielded more than 96,000 phone calls. A second call center will be opened in Hagerstown by the start of the 2018 Tax Filing Season, and this investment underscores Peter’s continued commitment to providing taxpayers with only the best customer service experience with the agency. Last year, Peter’s 12 regional branch offices assisted more than 126,000 taxpayers, answered nearly 23,000 phone calls and 45,000 emails, and provided tax filing services to more than 12,000 Marylanders.
As Comptroller, it’s not only Peter’s job to collect money owed to the State, but to return money that’s rightfully owed to Marylanders. As the legal custodian of unclaimed property in Maryland, Peter has worked tirelessly – through marketing and outreach efforts – to find owners of unclaimed property under the agency’s custody. Since taking office, Peter has returned more than $610 million in unclaimed property funds to their rightful owners.