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Vent session: Citizens complain about property values

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, August 25, 2018
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Two citizens spoke at Thursday night’s public hearing on the county property tax rate, but not about the property tax.

They instead complained about property values and the appraisal district.

County commissioners have proposed a tax rate decrease for both the property tax and the branch campus maintenance tax, 36 cents and 4.4 cents per $100 property valuation, respectively.

Maritha Gan of Paradise opened her statement by saying she believed in less government, not more.

“I’m borderline anarchist where I feel like there should be no government,” she said.

Gan explained it’s proven the quality of life improves with less government.

“There are communities in Mexico who have closed down government, and there is zero crime,” she said.

Gan went on to say that older people are having to live without air conditioning and repairs to their home just so they can pay their property taxes. She said the message behind rising property values is for older people to abandon their homes and live in RVs.

“That’s not how I imagined my retirement, and I worked the best, most productive years of my life to get this house and pay on this house as a single mother,” she said. “And I don’t appreciate being kicked out of my house to live in an RV or even better, move to Mexico.”

Gan said she is a “strict Constitutionalist.” She told commissioners that the Texas Constitution refers six times to property taxes as “donations.”

She transitioned to references of federal law.

“Property taxes in the Constitution of the United States are against the law. It’s mentioned three times that it’s against the law,” she said. “So basically, if you’re a government official and you’re charging us all of this kind of money, you could go to jail, if there was ever a class action lawsuit. The judge could give you a year for every person you’ve ever taken money from.

“You may think this is crazy old woman stuff, but if you study your Constitution, and I can tell you exactly where it is, you might want to rethink this.”

She said people who have lived in their house for 30 years are now making monthly property tax payments that are more than the house payment ever was.

“As an old person, you better figure out how you’re going to come up with that kind of money,” she said. “Or who cares about you, go live in an RV.”

Gan said she’ll probably have to retire to Mexico and hinted that the government is trying to take away people’s homes.

Her monologue was met with silence, except a curt “thank you” offered by County Judge J.D. Clark at the conclusion of her statement.

Lee Worley of Boyd wanted to know why the county’s revenue was down when property values have skyrocketed. It was explained that while property values have increased, oil and gas values dropped so dramatically that overall revenue is less than previous years.

“I’m paying almost double on my property taxes since 2006, and I want to know where my money is going,” Worley said. He said if the county is growing as much as local entities tout, why are revenues dropping?

“What happens is the growth comes quickly, but the value and tax money doesn’t come in right away,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Kevin Burns said. It takes several months to a year for homes to be built and then added to the tax roll.

Worley also said Chief Appraiser Mickey Hand is raising property values to make up for the decrease in oil and gas, which upsets him.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Gaylord Kennedy said he didn’t think that was the case.

“(Mickey) is audited by the state, and I assume it’s done like it’s supposed to be,” he said.

Burns eventually noted the commissioners proposed to lower the tax rate and asked if Worley was unhappy about that. Worley said he appreciated the lower rate but that “Mickey Hand has hit us hard the last three years.”

“Amen, brother. They want us out of our house,” Gan chimed in.

Citizens have one more chance to weigh in on the county tax rate at a public hearing Monday morning.

Starting at 8 a.m., county commissioners will accept comment from the public on the proposed county tax rate, and at 8:30 there will be a hearing on the branch campus maintenance tax rate.

Both hearings are in the third-floor conference room of the Wise County Courthouse.

One Response to “Vent session: Citizens complain about property values”

  1. Maritha Gan says:

    I am not here to debate property taxes, thus giving credence to an unlawful statute (having the form and name of law which is in reality no law). Rather, I am here to explain and prove that the appraisal method of taxation, regardless of which state you live in, is illegal and unconstitutional.Since I am prominently featured, here are the laws being violated: Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 [“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers…” Also again in Article 1, Section 9, Clause 4 states: [“No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration here in before directed to be taken.”] These basic sections of the Constitution have never been amended. The Constitution only allows for direct taxation of individuals and property by CENSUS or ENUMERATION.
    Deceiving citizens into voluntarily subjecting themselves to a tax based on the value of their property is FRAUD. When individuals voluntarily subject themselves to such fraud, it is a blatant violation of the Constitution. The action is pure theft under color of law. The U.S. Supreme Court has stated that no tax may be levied upon a Constitutionally protected RIGHT unless that tax is levied upon Citizens equally – that, of course, is a “properly apportioned” tax. In other words, if you owe $25 property tax, and so does each person of your family living with you owe $25: the guy who owns the biggest house owes $25, and so does each member of his family owe $25 each.
    CENUSUS or ENUMERATION means head-count, not value. Just because some lawmakers think they are acting correctly when they write an abusive, unfair and despotic tax law, does not make it a proper law. There is one greater measure to which all laws must be held – the Constitution of the United States of America, ….Article 6, Clause 2, states:
    “This Constitution and the Laws of the United States which shall be made pursuant thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in The Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

    This premise is further bolstered by those more learned and scholarly than I in various Supreme Court rulings:
    “The general misconception is that any statute passed by legislators bearing the appearance of law constitutes the law of the land. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and any statute, to be valid, must be in agreement. It is impossible for both the Constitution and a law violating it to be valid; one must prevail.”
    This is succinctly stated as follows:
    “The General rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it.
    “An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed. Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted.
    “Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it…
    “A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one. An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid law. Indeed, insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the land, it is superseded thereby.
    “No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.”Sixteenth American Jurisprudence, Second Edition, Section 256

    As for my fellow Texans, did you ever look closely at your copy of NOTICE OF APPRAISED VALUE? Maybe you observed that they, for some reason, forgot to press the $ key on their computer? I really don’t think this is the problem. It has something else that is driving them to not include that $ in front of the amount they want you to send them. Could it be that they cannot lawfully ask for anything other than lawful money in payment for taxes or fees? Or, could it possibly be that the property tax, specifically the school tax, is voluntary? Please show me in the Constitution of the United States where anyone is obligated to educate the children, especially those of another man and woman. Are homeschoolers or private schools paid per head with tax dollars as public schools are? Why are parents still obligated to pay school taxes if their children are not in public schools? Do you pay your grocery store for milk that you do not acquire?
    Is property tax voluntary? Is property tax a donation?
    The Texas Constitution says, at Article 8, Section 1-a:
    …Provided that in those counties or political subdivisions or areas of the State from which tax donations have heretofore been granted, the State Automatic Tax Board shall continue to levy the full amount of the State ad valorem tax for the duration of such donation, or until all legal obligations heretofore authorized by the law granting such donation or donations shall have been fully discharged, whichever shall first occur; provided that if such donation to any such county or political subdivision is for less than the full amount of State ad valorem taxes so levied, the portion of such taxes remaining over and above such donation shall be retained by said county or subdivision.
    The word donation / donations are used six (6) times in the above text of legal jargon.
    WAKE UP AMERICA!!!
    Property tax assessed on the APPRAISED VALUE is totally unconstitutional. I don’t care what State or County you live in, the appraised method is unconstitutional.

    Unrealized Capital Gains
    “Our house is now appraised at 3.5 times more than we paid for it in 1994. That’s great if we wanted to sell, but taxing the difference between what we paid and what it is now worth is a tax on unrealized capital gains.”

    The PRIME DIRECTIVE of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is to ensure that no Codes/Statutes are written against We The People by Municipal, County, State or US Federal Government.

    Thank you for your time if you got to the bottom of this, you are now an informed citizen, which by the way we have precious few, because your and my Constitution is no longer taught in Government Compulsory Schools FOR A REASON!

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