Md. Comptroller Brooke Lierman Talks About Her 100 Days In Office

She says it’s been a learning experience, but an exciting time.

Photo from Md.; Comptroller’s Office

Baltimore, Md (KM) It’s been a little over 100 days since Brooke Lierman took the oath of office as Maryland’s Comptroller. She says the job has been a learning experience for her, but an exciting time. “I’m really proud of the leadership team that we have created in the office,” Lierman says.. “We brought in some new people, and kept some people. We’ve done some really important restructuring to add some accountability, transparency and more efficacy to the office.”

Lierman took the oath of office on January 16th. 2023.  She is the first female to hold the job of Maryland State Comptroller.

She says the General Assembly this year passed a bill establishing an Office of State Taxpayer Advocate in the Comptroller’s Office. “Most other states and the federal government have one of these designated departments that are committed to helping and advocating for taxpayers and their elected representatives; to use the resources within the office to resolve tax problems, mostly complex ones.,’ Lierman says.

The Office of Taxpayer Advocate won’t be in place for the upcoming tax year. But Lierman says it will be ready to go by July 1st, 2024, the start of fiscal year 2025.

In the state budget, legislators agreed to appropriate $7 million to the Comptroller’s Office to hire additional staff, and update the agency’s technology. “We have incredibly outdated technology in this office, unfortunately,” Lierman says. “Our tax processing, our state general accounting system are some of the oldest in the nation right now. They are based on a mainframe and use of the processing language COBOL.”

The Comptroller’s Office has been given the authorization to discard unclaimed property  which has no financial value. “Baby teeth and hair and random things that were in safe deposit boxes or that weren’t claimed when the property was ceded to the state,” says Llierman. “So we have to hold on that right now.; We have in the basement of her offices.”

Lierman says the Comptroller’s Office will be vacating from  its  current location at State Center in Baltimore. Those offices and other state offices will be moving to the downtown, and Lierman says it makes no sense to keep those items which have no financial value. She says the Comptroller’s Office is working with the State Archives to decide what to do with this property.

But Lierman says the Comptroller’s Office will continue to hold on to unclaimed property which has value such as abandoned bank accounts or forgotten insurance policies.

By Kevin McManus