(A)   For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
      INSTRUMENT OF WRITING.  A written instrument that conveys title to or a leasehold interest in real property. INSTRUMENT OF WRITING includes:
         (a)   A deed or contract;
         (b)   A lease;
         (c)   An assignment of a lessee’s interest;
         (d)   Articles of transfer;
         (e)   Articles of merger or other document which evidences a merger of foreign corporations or foreign limited partnerships;
         (f)   Articles of consolidation or other document which evidences a consolidation of foreign corporations.
      INSTRUMENT OF WRITING does not include:
         (a)   A mortgage, deed or trust or other contract that creates an encumbrance on real property;
         (b)   A security agreement, as defined in Md. Code, Tax-Property Article, § 12-101(e).
   (B)   The County Commissioners may impose a transfer tax on an instrument of writing:
      (1)   Recorded with the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Garrett County; or
      (2)   Filed with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation.
   (C)   A transfer tax under this section:
      (1)   Shall be established by ordinance;
      (2)   May not exceed 1%; and
      (3)   Does not apply to:
         (a)   An instrument of writing exempt from the state transfer tax under Md. Code, Tax- Property Article, § 13-207;
         (b)   A transfer of land subject to the agricultural land transfer tax under Md. Code, Tax- Property Article, Title 13, Subtitle 3; or
         (c)   The first $50,000 of the consideration payable for an instrument of writing for the transferred real property.
(1986 Code, § 106-1)