When the state of Maryland today pays each of the 23 countries and Baltimore City its share of fourth quarter local income tax payments collected by the state, it will not send any checks. Instead, for the first time, the state will transfer the funds electronically by way of bank wire.

Bank wire is not electronic funds transfer, a computerized system currently under study that could one day eliminate entirely a paper checkink system. But, according to Maryland National Bank vice president margie H. Muller, "It is a first step."

The state will this morning deposit in its account at Maryland National Bank in Baltimore approximately $83 million. Maryland National will then send by bank wire the individual payments directly to the account of each jurisdiction, wherever each banks. The financial officer of each jurisdiction knows that the tax payment will be available today for spending or investing.

In the past, according to assistant to the comptroller of Maryland Marvin A. Bond, "the state has tried to do as each county wanted. We have made each check by mail or sending a messenger to pick it up. This time we asked them to supply the name of their bank and their account number."

Bond emphasized that the bank wire transfer program is a pilot experiment. "We don't know if this particular payment will be made this way next quarter," he said.