County Office Building, 701 Kelly Road, Cumberland, Maryland, July 2006. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
County Court. In 1789, the first year of Allegany County’s formation, the County Court Justices were authorized to assess County charges and levy taxes, which were collected by the Commissioners of the Tax.
Levy Court. By the Court Reform Law of 1790 all nonjudicial powers transferred from the County Court to the Levy Court, thereby empowering the Levy Court to assume the executive functions of County Government (Chapter 62, Acts of 1790). So authorized, the Levy Court began to assess County charges and levy taxes; adjust ordinary County expenses; appoint tax collectors, constables, road overseers, and commissioners; and contract for builders to repair buildings and bridges.
From 1790 to 1799, the Levy Court met in Cumberland on the south side of Green Street at Abraham Faw’s Tavern. Thereafter, the Levy Court met at the first County Courthouse, which was built in 1799.
Originally, five members constituted the Levy Court. They were appointed by the Governor from the Justices of the Peace of the County. In 1829, voters began to elect a nine-member Levy Court to two-year terms (Chapter 25, Acts of 1829). By 1836, a new election district required an additional member (Chapter 106, Acts of 1836). In 1854, the Court was reduced to five members (Chapter 297, Acts of 1854). With a constitutional amendment in 1922, the term in all counties was set at four years (Chapter 227, Acts of 1922).
Today, the Board of County Commissioners consists of three members who are elected by the voters to four-year terms. From among its members, the Board selects the Chair for a four-year term.
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