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Local government in Maryland consists of 23 counties and 157 incorporated municipalities (cities and towns that have been incorporated with a charter). In addition there are 167 special districts.[1]

Further classifications:

Counties may be organized and governed by:

  • County commissioners, of which there are 8. They are Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, Garrett, St. Mary's, Somerset, and Washington.
  • Code home rule, of which there are 6. They are Allegany (1974), Caroline (1984), Charles (2002), Kent (1970), Queen Anne's (1990), and Worcester (1976).
  • Charter, of which there are 9. They are Anne Arundel (1964), Baltimore (1956), Dorchester (2002), Harford (1972), Howard (1968), Montgomery (1948), Prince George's (1970), Talbot (1973), and Wicomico (1964).[2]

Cities and towns are treated as a single class by state statutes, with the exception of Baltimore which has laws specific to it. Cities and towns gain their legal status by incorporation through a charter. All local services in unincorporated areas are provided directly by the county.[3]
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