The long awaited ground rent decision is here! On October 25, 2011, the Maryland Court of Appeals published Muskin v. State Department of Assessments and Taxation, declaring a significant portion of the ground rent registration statute unconstitutional.
The short and sweet is this: The legislature went beyond its authority to implement a “register or forfeit” system that transferred a ground rent owner’s reversionary interest to the lessee. The Court recognized the vested ownership rights of ground rent owners, echoing my own thoughts from a previous post about this appeal. That post has links to the webcast of oral argument, if you like that sort of thing. Read about the important parts of this opinion, after the jump.