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State Tax Chief Encourages Inspectors To Enter Homes; Refusal Could Lead To Higher Assessment
Capitol Confidential ^ | 10/12/2013 | Anne Schieber

Posted on 10/14/2013 10:19:10 AM PDT by MichCapCon

When someone comes to your door, you can let them in — or not.

But keeping out a representative from the Michigan Tax Commission could be costly. At least that's what some residents in Davison Township are finding.

When the local tax assessor showed up at homeowner John McLaughlin's house in the Genesee County community he said he wasn't going to let them in. So what happened after he declined the appointment: "My taxes went up," he said.

The executive director of the Michigan Tax Commission said local tax assessors are supposed to be getting inside all homes to see if they are correctly taxed.

"[That] is the goal," said Kelli Sobel, executive director of the Michigan Tax Commission. "They should try to get inside every house so they can assure that the info on the card is correct."

McLaughlin and others in Davison Township said they felt they were being pressured to let tax assessors inside their homes and that they had little choice against doing so. He got advance notice, but said it still wasn't right that the township wanted in.

>"Just like the letter states, what we're trying to do is verify the information on your assessment card to make sure you are correctly accessed," said Township Assessor Kim Nickerson.

McLaughlin said he has nothing to hide. He said he has made no improvements in the home in the two years he's been there. He refused because of the principle.

"I'm a former military member and signed up to protect the Constitution and I know that is a violation of my Fourth Amendment right," McLaughlin said.

The Fourth Amendment protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures.

The Township says it gets its authority to go inside homes from the Michigan State Tax Commission. In 2010, it sent all municipal tax assessors a memo saying, "local units are encouraged to annually inspect a minimum of 20 percent of the parcels each year."

Davison Township took that to mean going inside houses.

When asked if taxes could go up if people denied the tax assessor into their home, Davison's Nickerson said it was possible.

"It depends on what the amount of finished basements of your neighbors that we are allowed access to," Nickerson said. "Your estimate will be based on what your neighbors have."

So if some people in the neighborhood have a finished basement, it is assumed that others have a finished basement?

"That's correct," Nickerson said.

According to the assessor, of 1,200 inspections last year in Davison Township, 308 residents denied entry to their homes; 459 had changes in their assessments.

Instead of challenging those assessments, some taxpayers went to the township board.

"I've lived here 28 years and nobody has come into my house," one citizen said at a recent meeting.

Not all township trustees agree with the practice.

"I think the way this was handled was extremely poor," said Tim Elkins, a township trustee. "I didn't know about this until a friend called me and said 'did you get this?' He read it to me over the phone and I said, 'You're kidding me.' "

The board voted to suspend and then end the interior inspections, but the question on whether a Michigan tax inspector can enter a home remains open.

Under the Freedom of Information act, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy requested a review of correspondence on the issue between local tax departments and the state. The state demanded $2,860 in fees for the FOIA request.

"The Fourth Amendment protects a person's home," said Patrick Wright, director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation. "You need a warrant to go in. An inspector would be able to come to the outside to an area called the 'curtilage' and essentially that's the area where you can start seeing inside the windows. And they can come up to that point, but if they look inside they are violating the Fourth Amendment and need a warrant. The fact that your neighbor may have a finished basement doesn't mean you do. So unless they have a suspicion, maybe they talked to the electrician, then they can get a warrant to come in but until such time they can't charge you more for it."


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: 4thamendment; homes; michigan; propertytax; taxassessment

1 posted on 10/14/2013 10:19:10 AM PDT by MichCapCon
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To: MichCapCon

Don’t you just love BIG, nanny state government?!


2 posted on 10/14/2013 10:21:14 AM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (The Constitution is obsolete only if you see Mein Kampf or the Communist Manifesto as a replacement.)
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To: MichCapCon

If someone increases the assessment based on what he did not see, that is a lawsuit in the making.


3 posted on 10/14/2013 10:22:57 AM PDT by cuban leaf
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To: MichCapCon

“All your bedrooms are belong to us.”


4 posted on 10/14/2013 10:23:28 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: MichCapCon

...but the question on whether a Michigan tax inspector can enter a home remains open.


Only to those who have not read the US constitution.


5 posted on 10/14/2013 10:24:11 AM PDT by cuban leaf
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To: MichCapCon

I live in Florida so its hard for me to conceive that the residents of a state would allow this or gun registration. We have our faults but this is over the top.


6 posted on 10/14/2013 10:28:54 AM PDT by DeWalt (Times are more like they used to be than they are today.)
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To: MichCapCon

Property taxes are a relic of feudalism and they exist today largely to prop up the Teachers union.

A century ago most states had a Homestead Exemption because your home was never meant to be taxed, just your productive property - most people were farmers. The feudal basis of this is clear: the parasite class merely wanted a part of your crop. Thus it was an income tax. Homestead exemptions still exist, but have been squelched in size because of the never ending government thirst for other people’s money.

Since we now have every flavor of income tax known to man - municipal, state and federal - along with excise taxes triple what they were just 40 years ago ( 9-10% now vs. 2-3% in the 60’s ), what’s the point of property taxes?

They are now simply another income stream for the Bureaucratic state to pay itself for “services” unwanted.

They can go ahead and try to invade people’s homes. All that will do is start a political movement to end the whole thing - the voters will simply put a stop to it.


7 posted on 10/14/2013 10:34:37 AM PDT by Regulator
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To: MichCapCon

Those people are probably just hiding stuff. And very guilty. Or at least terrorist TEA Party members. Anti-0bama racists.


8 posted on 10/14/2013 10:35:44 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Regulator

Property taxes are now a form of Wealth Tax.


9 posted on 10/14/2013 10:36:31 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: DannyTN

All of your gun closets belong to us.


10 posted on 10/14/2013 10:37:17 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: DeWalt

“I live in Florida so its hard for me to conceive that the residents of a state would allow this or gun registration. We have our faults but this is over the top.”

In Florida we are required to allow the assessors to measure the outside of our houses. I guess they assume there is no basement, which in 99% of the state is a good guess.


11 posted on 10/14/2013 10:38:44 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: Paladin2

What happens when the tax commish enters your home and sees that your wife runs a small internet business and isn’t paying taxes or he sees you have a hobby liquor still or anything he may misinterpret as a crime?


12 posted on 10/14/2013 10:40:38 AM PDT by DeWalt (Times are more like they used to be than they are today.)
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To: Regulator
3/4’s of my property taxes go to the schools. I homeschool my kids. This is just flat out theft in my case.
13 posted on 10/14/2013 10:41:57 AM PDT by jimpick
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To: DeWalt

If they came into my house they would most likely trip on all the guns and ammo laying around. JK, well maybe not haha.


14 posted on 10/14/2013 10:43:15 AM PDT by jimpick
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To: MichCapCon

This just confirms why there should be no personal property tax as well as income tax. Needless bureaucracy.

Make everything from sales tax.


15 posted on 10/14/2013 10:43:38 AM PDT by Molon Labbie (Prep. Now. Live Healthy, take your Shooting Iron daily.)
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To: Gen.Blather

No you don’t, you can request estimates from aerial photography.


16 posted on 10/14/2013 10:44:00 AM PDT by DeWalt (Times are more like they used to be than they are today.)
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To: MichCapCon

I’ll take the higher assessment thanx.


17 posted on 10/14/2013 10:44:48 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: MichCapCon
There is also 3rd amendment case law implying a right to privacy in one's home from agents of the state.

-PJ

18 posted on 10/14/2013 10:52:48 AM PDT by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: MichCapCon

I remember years ago in CA I complained to the Tax Collector when we were billed for Personal Property Tax on our property tax bill. I asked how they could arbitrarily apply a tax to a value when they didn’t have any idea what was in our house. They assured me that it was safer to pick a ballpark figure than to do an actual assessment as then the amount would likely be higher as they would do an assessment of everything - even sporting equipment. I dropped my complaint.

I still wouldn’t like the way they went about it here in MI.


19 posted on 10/14/2013 10:53:31 AM PDT by Thank You Rush
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To: DeWalt

What if your Lab properly ID’s him/her/it as the enemy and attacks?


20 posted on 10/14/2013 10:54:01 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: DeWalt
"aerial photography."

I'm about ready to deploy the overhead cammo nets.

21 posted on 10/14/2013 10:55:34 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: DeWalt

A “hobby liquor still” is a crime, unless you have an ATF license.

Bad example.

All the chest-thumping here is amusing. It’s a house assessment. Not the Spanish Inquisition.


22 posted on 10/14/2013 11:00:39 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: Regulator

In Summit County, Ohio, they have a clever plan. The lowered the value of my house by $1,500. Then they raised the value of my lot by $10,000. Clever, eh?


23 posted on 10/14/2013 11:02:17 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: MichCapCon

> In 2010, it sent all municipal tax assessors a memo.

Since when is a memo a law?
This could only happen in a police state.


24 posted on 10/14/2013 11:04:38 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (Gun Control is the Key to totalitarianism and genocide.)
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To: SoothingDave

Doesn’t matter if it’s a pot plant, the point is a state agent entering your home. That doesn’t bother you?


25 posted on 10/14/2013 11:09:49 AM PDT by DeWalt (Times are more like they used to be than they are today.)
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To: DeWalt

No, not really. I am free to either cooperate with an assessment or not. If I want an accurate and low tax bill I will hide my pot plants and let the “state agent” in.

If I don’t, then I will let them assess only from the outside.

Nothing is compelled.


26 posted on 10/14/2013 11:11:59 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: cuban leaf

And, if there are enough people, it’s a class action deal.
Also, the assessor and the person that told him to raise the assessment based on refusal to wave fourth amendment protections need to be sued PERSONALLY, and have their primary assets attached to the suit.


27 posted on 10/14/2013 11:15:59 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: MichCapCon

I’d great them at the door with my loaded S&W and my pit bull by my side. They can come in at their own risk.

Accidents happen, ya know!


28 posted on 10/14/2013 11:22:19 AM PDT by DustyMoment (Congress - another name for the American politburo!!)
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To: SoothingDave

The taxes are compelled. You dont actually own your property if you are compelled to pay a tribute every year to the Tax Maffia in order to keep it.


29 posted on 10/14/2013 11:25:31 AM PDT by Uncle Lonny
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To: MichCapCon

I’m not sure they can get by Smith, Wesson and me.


30 posted on 10/14/2013 11:33:49 AM PDT by Zathras
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To: MichCapCon
Must be a "personal property tax" state ...

Reminds me of the movie, "It Runs In The Family" [sequel to the beloved "Christmas Story"] - when the tax assessor comes to the house and the family is trying to hide all of the good stuff in order to get a lower tax bill ...

31 posted on 10/14/2013 11:47:52 AM PDT by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: SoothingDave

Not compelled but a hefty tax if you don’t. Ok


32 posted on 10/14/2013 11:57:01 AM PDT by DeWalt (Times are more like they used to be than they are today.)
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To: DeWalt

If you know a better way to assess the value of a home, let me know.


33 posted on 10/14/2013 12:18:26 PM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: SoothingDave

In Florida they do most from satellite and aerial. What is in your home in no ones business.


34 posted on 10/14/2013 12:20:31 PM PDT by DeWalt (Times are more like they used to be than they are today.)
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To: MichCapCon
If you live in a county controlled and run by degenerate marxists, dont cry when they trample on your rights.

Its what they do best.

Two choices, drive them out of office if possible, or move.

35 posted on 10/14/2013 12:34:33 PM PDT by Rome2000 (THE WASHINGTONIANS AND UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE ARE THE ENEMY -ROTATE THE CAPITAL AMONGST THE STATES)
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To: MichCapCon
"[That] is the goal," said Kelli Sobel, executive director of the Michigan Tax Commission. "They should try to get inside every house so they can assure that the info on the card is correct."

If you aren't going to believe what is on the card, why bother sending out the cards?

If Michigan was on my "possible place to live list" it's crossed out now.

36 posted on 10/14/2013 1:18:24 PM PDT by hattend (Firearms and ammunition...the only growing industries under the Obama regime.)
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To: Regulator

Fl voted to double homestead exemption recently.


37 posted on 10/14/2013 4:37:21 PM PDT by bicyclerepair (The zombies here elected alcee hastings)
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To: MichCapCon
See? It's simple and clear. Just ask Kelli. She knows.

Of course, Kelli will invoke maximum immunity, police protection and a team of government attorneys if you try to get her to sign a document that says she takes personal authority for violating your 4th Amendment rights.

But other than that, she's here to help.

38 posted on 10/14/2013 7:50:17 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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