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Property-tax cheats facing crackdown
Miami Herald ^ | July 28, 2012 | Martha Brannigan

Posted on 07/29/2012 2:32:24 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

For years — decades, really — Miami-Dade homeowners have been ducking property taxes by illegally claiming homestead exemptions, usually with impunity.

.......The price of getting caught: Up to 10 years of unpaid back taxes, plus a 50 percent penalty and 15 percent annual interest....

Since January, six detectives from the Economic Crimes Bureau of the Miami-Dade Police Department have been working to bolster the muscle of 15 investigators at the Property Appraiser’s Office in nailing violators. That is up from two police detectives deployed in 2011 to tackle a backlog of some 3,500 complaints (now about 2,166) which typically come from tips from neighbors, estranged spouses and others.

This May, Property Appraiser Pedro J. Garcia unveiled a new contract for software and services to flag suspicious claims among the 440,000 homestead properties.

For July alone, the property appraiser, armed with smarter tools, filed $11 million in homestead liens. That compares with $8 million filed for all of 2011.

Fueling the intensified scrutiny: money, of course.

Starved for revenue, interest groups at the county, the school district and cities are clamoring for tougher enforcement of homestead- exemption rules in hope of bringing in revenue to help save public jobs and programs threatened by the budget ax.

At the same time, the new use of data-mining tools to cross-check property records against an array of data from deaths to marriages to voter registrations to auto tags to water bills holds the promise of weeding out suspect exemptions in bulk, generating more and better leads than the hotlines and anonymous tips that have spawned many cases in the past.......

(Excerpt) Read more at miamiherald.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: economy; propertytaxes; taxation; taxenforcement
LONG past time to dump exemptions and simplify taxes.
1 posted on 07/29/2012 2:32:39 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Homestead exemption fraud is rampant, not just among Floridians but from out of state property owners as well. Glad to see these investigative efforts.


2 posted on 07/29/2012 2:47:28 AM PDT by Jacquerie (I want my America back.)
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To: Jacquerie
.....Glad to see these investigative efforts.

I wonder how non-partisan they will be? Note it's being done to "save public jobs and programs." I wonder why cheating has been allowed before.

3 posted on 07/29/2012 3:02:47 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Homestead exemptions are basically part of the Magna Carta.

Under the Magna Carta, they couldn’t take away from you either:
Your primary residence or
The tools and materials that you used to support yourself (meaning make a living)


4 posted on 07/29/2012 3:12:39 AM PDT by djf (The barbarian hordes will ALWAYS outnumber the clean-shaven. And they vote.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
At the same time, the new use of data-mining tools to cross-check property records against an array of data from deaths to marriages to voter registrations to auto tags to water bills holds the promise of weeding out suspect exemptions in bulk, generating more and better leads than the hotlines and anonymous tips that have spawned many cases in the past.......

Of course, this could never be used to keep voting records current and honest. /s

5 posted on 07/29/2012 3:13:32 AM PDT by wintertime (:-))
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To: wintertime
Of course, this could never be used to keep voting records current and honest. /s

BUMP!

6 posted on 07/29/2012 3:21:41 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I wish they would go after welfare fraud with equal enthusiasm.


7 posted on 07/29/2012 3:21:58 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: central_va

>>>I wish they would go after welfare fraud with equal enthusiasm.>>>

Ah, but, as you know they would then lose the “welfare vote.”


8 posted on 07/29/2012 3:37:21 AM PDT by kitkat
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Simply put, Government is being forced by “revenue” demands, to get into the mining business. Data mining that is. In hopes of discovering lost revenue.

I hope they are going to be disappointed at the lack of money they think they are owed. The solution, is unfortunately to cut spending, which means reducing the demand for revenue.


9 posted on 07/29/2012 3:57:07 AM PDT by wita
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To: wintertime
Of course, this could never be used to keep voting records current and honest. /s

Noooo, no way. Nor to find illegal aliens either.

10 posted on 07/29/2012 4:21:45 AM PDT by libertylover (The problem with Obama is not that his skin is too black, it's that his ideas are too RED.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Property taxes should be abolished. It is absurd to have to pay a tax on something just because you own it.


11 posted on 07/29/2012 4:36:55 AM PDT by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

And while they’re at it, they ought to check their voter registration. Many New York Democrats vote in FL elections.


12 posted on 07/29/2012 4:43:00 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: Jacquerie

Glad to see these investigative efforts.


We don,t need more investigations which would call for more high paid gestapos, we just need to close some loop holes which made this kind of thing possible to begin with.

If there is a crime here it began in Government.


13 posted on 07/29/2012 4:59:52 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: ravenwolf
Well, we disagree.

When property tax time comes around, the instructions are simple and clear. People who lie/claim multiple homestead exemptions deserve what they get.

14 posted on 07/29/2012 7:02:38 AM PDT by Jacquerie (I want my America back.)
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To: Jacquerie

Well, we disagree.

When property tax time comes around, the instructions are simple and clear. People who lie/claim multiple homestead exemptions deserve what they get.


The police do not take any ones word for anything, that is why they are investigating it, not guilty until proven guilty.

I am just giving the people the benefit of the doubt instead of the corrupt Government thugs.


15 posted on 07/29/2012 7:29:15 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: SVTCobra03

The property tax system is arbritrary and corruptible. You pay taxes on what some government official says your house is worth. I read in the Philadelphia Inquirer about a Dem politician who bought a house for 1 million dollars, yet it was valued on the tax rolls for about 100,000. In Pennsylvania, I met little old widows who actually lost their homes because they couldn’t afford the 6000+ per year in property taxes on their paid for home. That is the amount of tax I paid for a home valued at less than 200,000.


16 posted on 07/29/2012 7:42:48 AM PDT by sportutegrl
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To: ravenwolf
It beats the heck out of an income tax. Now that most public records are online, the cheaters should think twice; that includes out of state citizens who claim homestead on FL rental property.
17 posted on 07/29/2012 8:14:36 AM PDT by Jacquerie (I want my America back.)
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To: Jacquerie

It beats the heck out of an income tax. Now that most public records are online, the cheaters should think twice; that includes out of state citizens who claim homestead on FL rental property.


Are you saying you do not like to pay income tax? or are you saying that property tax is a much better way to steal peoples money?


18 posted on 07/29/2012 10:50:59 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: ravenwolf

Huh? I said what I said. No more nor less.


19 posted on 07/29/2012 11:22:24 AM PDT by Jacquerie (I want my America back.)
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To: Jacquerie
Glad to see these investigative efforts.

To get to that statement, you first must agree that property tax is a good thing.

I don't agree, propery tax is evil and steals your right to private property.

20 posted on 07/29/2012 11:43:32 AM PDT by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: Jacquerie
It beats the heck out of an income tax.

Maybe. I would rather a slightly higher sales tax. You have some control over that by your spending habits. The only way to avoid property tax is to never own property. That flies in the face of liberty.

21 posted on 07/29/2012 11:56:02 AM PDT by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: Jacquerie

Some one in Government puts out a story about tax cheats, maybe true and maybe not, but the purpose is to have an excuse to put more people on the Government payroll and to get every one thinking that every one except them are crooks.

So when they step up the war against the citizens of this country it will be like taking candy away from a baby.


22 posted on 07/29/2012 1:08:28 PM PDT by ravenwolf
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