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-   -   Neighbor not paying her fair share of property tax? (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/neighbor-not-paying-her-fair-share-of-property-tax-77930.html)

harley 07-09-2015 08:33 PM


Originally Posted by Hermit (Post 1612512)
I don't know why you chose to make this into a personal attack on my lifestyle. I think you should be capable of stating your case without such comments.

"because everybody else is doing something wrong." is about the poorest excuse for any behavior I can think of. When my kids used the kind of excuse for doing something they were not supposed to do, it went over like a lead balloon.

I don't think you read this the way I meant it, but I apologize for it causing you annoyance. I'll delete it.

And also be aware there is an ignore list option. I doubt you'd be the first to put me on one.

jim584672 07-09-2015 08:40 PM

Snitches get stitches.

One person's tax exemption will not have any impact on your taxes, so chill out.

Siestatime 07-09-2015 08:57 PM


Originally Posted by meierlde (Post 1612513)
In many jurisdictions the property tax records are online. You can type the address or the owners name and see the taxes due. I have done this for a house I used to own for example. It may well vary by jurisdiction however.

Zillow.com. Hello?

Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum

MRG 07-09-2015 09:13 PM

I understand what right is I also understand being a neighbor whether I get along or agree with what they do.

Years ago we lived next door to a cocaine selling couple. I tried to turn them in, LE had nothing to go on. Then the tweaking dealers figured it out who narced. Pure h*ll till our lease was up.

I mind my own business today. Only exception is protecting my home and family.

Texas Proud 07-09-2015 09:15 PM


Originally Posted by EastWest Gal (Post 1612502)
How do you know what your neighbor's property taxes are in the first place?

Don't know about OP, but where I live it is public records... online no less... easy to see anybody's tax bill....

34rlsa 07-09-2015 09:32 PM

Are they Greek?

target2019 07-09-2015 09:45 PM

It's difficult to live with a neighbor problem every day. And many homeowners get a tax break while others pay more. It just so happens that my next door neighbor had a tax bill less than 1/2 of ours. I never understood it, but as he got older certain circumstances became clearer to me. The house was a mess inside. Also found out there is no basement.

What did bother me was that his son who also lives in town would bring a large amount of questionable trash to the curb every week. The trash was produced by his business and he was breaking code I felt. However, I never complained, as I know that there are ways that information leaks out, and I did not want to have bad blood.

It does sound like you could cause the family some grief. Just tread lightly and make sure all of the facts are as you think they are.

turbo89 07-09-2015 09:55 PM

Another vote for MYOB. From you're post it's clear you don't entirely know the circumstances, so it's best to just move on and forget about it.

Sunset 07-09-2015 10:08 PM


Originally Posted by DROPOUT (Post 1612460)
Live & Let Live ...

I'm a libertarian, and if it doesn't affect me directly, its none of my damn business :)

My friends the drug importers who drive 18 wheelers like your attitude. So does my distant cousin the serial killer :dance:

My wife told me to pretend I'm joking :facepalm:

Texas Proud 07-09-2015 10:10 PM

First, who would you report it to??

Second, what do you think they would do about it??

My prediction... nothing...

Here they send out a postcard saying that you still have your exemption... as long as the current resident does not say anything the exemption stays... I doubt they are going to go out and spend money on an investigation for at most a couple of thousand.... not in their budget and not worth their time...

BTW, since our house value is going up at a rapid pace I decided to take a look at our old house to see what they valued it at.... to my surprise I noticed that the single mom who bought the place did not file for homestead exemption...... and that is costing some big money since not only is she missing the exemption, but also the 10% max yearly increase... I thought about sending something to her, but then said... NOMB.... she was told what she needed to do at closing... she had her dad with her... if she fails to do it..... well, so be it...

pb4uski 07-09-2015 10:36 PM

At this point you have suspicions... and perhaps well founded suspicions. I would report them to the appropriate authorities then your duty is done. Their duty is to investigate the situation and if they find it is as you think, to take action.

If the situation is what you think it is then it is tax fraud and your neighbor is wrong.

However, recognize that there is some risk that if the neighbor finds out that you brought your suspicions to the attention of the authorities that they will likely be made as hell (keep your car in the garage if you have one).

daylatedollarshort 07-09-2015 11:16 PM

If they are keeping up the house, aren't having loud parties, don't leave barking dogs out all night, aren't busybodies, aren't driving too fast around the neighborhood, aren't having loud arguments, or otherwise not being the neighbors from hell, personally I would be grateful for living next door to nice, normal people and not worry about the taxes.

Property taxes here in California from one tract house to an almost identical house next door can vary by 10 times or more due to Prop 13, if one neighbor bought decades ago and the other home is a more recent purchase.

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbor, and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people." - G.K. Chesterton

Amethyst 07-10-2015 03:46 AM

I don't understand the issue. The owner qualifies for the tax break. She owns the home, and is the one paying the taxes. It seems like she would have the right to invite family members to live in her house where she pays the taxes.

There might be county regulations about exceeding the number of people allowed to live in one house, but that's not a tax issue.


Another Reader 07-10-2015 04:31 AM

Maybe she has a reverse mortgage as well. Why not look that up in the County Recorder's records and turn her in to the lender if she is not living there? That way the bank can foreclose on her for being out of compliance with the terms of the mortgage. "Justice" will be served, right?

My point is where are you going to draw the line? What is "your business" and what is not your business? If your neighbor is harming you and your neighborhood by selling crack to 10 year old kids, that's an obvious problem for everyone. But getting some kind of tax break because she might not be living in the house fulltime? That's a MYOB in my book.

clifp 07-10-2015 04:38 AM


Originally Posted by Walt34 (Post 1612456)
Probably the best thing to to is contact the county assessor's office (or whoever handles property taxes where you are) and let them know of your observations. But it is up to them to do any investigations and take any action.

It may or may not be a violation of the law. I think people cheating on their taxes is everyone's problems. I think sending a letter (perhaps anonymously) should be the extent of your involvement.

marko 07-10-2015 04:52 AM

Gaming the system, whether avoiding taxes (property, income, excise, liquor, sales, etc), fees, entitlements, etc is deemed a near professional sport in these parts.

Should I report my neighbor who drives 20 minutes to NH to avoid MA sales and liquor taxes? Or the guy who registers his car in NH but lives in MA to avoid sales, excise and registration fees? Or the folks who are getting multiple EBT cards and selling them for cash? What about the ones with multiple bankruptcies who buy all kinds of "stuff": cars, boats, houses with zero intention of ever paying for them? Or the older people who 'self impoverish' in order to get Medicaid pick up the nursing home tab? Or the guy who just won $2,000 off a bookie? What about the guy "working under the table" who collects unemployment?

At what point do you pick up the phone?

Andre1969 07-10-2015 05:09 AM

I just checked Zillow.com with regards to my own tax history, and it's strange. Their data on my place goes from 2005-2014. They nailed it for 2014: $3165. I paid $3164.63 in September of 2014. However, all the other data is way off. Oddly, 2005 is listed as $2359, which is what I paid in September of '04. But for 2006-2013 the numbers vary wildly from around $1600-4400, and my taxes have never been that low, nor that high.

My taxes crept up steadily through 2010, when they topped out around $3300, but then we got re-assessed for 2011 and they came down slightly, and have been fairly flat since.

Now, Maryland does something called a Homestead Tax Credit (or maybe it's just my county, Prince George's), that caps your annual property tax increase if the home is your primary residence. This credit shows as a subtraction on the line items of your property tax bill. I remember by the time 2010 rolled around, the total tax bill on my place was around $5000, but the Homestead Tax Credit had swelled to about $1700, hence the actual bill of $3300. Incidentally, the $4400 Zillow shows in my history was for 2010, so their algorithms were at least somewhat following the local market.

As for finding tax information online, In Maryland you can search for an address and find out information such as assessed value, the last 3 or 4 sales transactions on that property, year built, how much land, square footage, owner's name, whether it's the principal residence or not, etc. But I don't know how to pull up information on how much the property tax bill is. I think there is a way though, because there was one time I forgot to bring my tax bill/canceled check information with me when I had my income taxes done, but my tax man was able to go online to some site and get the exact information.

LOL! 07-10-2015 05:30 AM

Clearly the OP needs to write a Letter to the Editor of the local newspaper complaining about property tax fraud without naming any names. As in,

Dear Editor,

Does the County Tax Assessor ever go and check to see if a property has a legitimate over-65 exemption? I am sick of possible tax fraud in this County when it comes to property taxes. There need to be more audits and fact checking so that everyone pays their fair share of taxes and especially large families with lots of school-age children.

Sincerely, .

I think there was a similar thread recommending MYOB when employees were stealing from employers. This jist was "If Management is too stupid to see things right under their nose, then they deserve to be stolen from and I'm not going to report anything myself."

donheff 07-10-2015 05:58 AM

I'm with the live and let live contingent. There could be a number of reasons why the old lady is legit. Or she may be cheating but be under tremendous financial pressure trying to help a daughter who's spouse ran off leaving her broke or some such situation. As somebody said, cheating the taxman is practically a national sport. Where do you draw the line on vigilante enforcement?

jerome len 07-10-2015 06:34 AM

I'm sort of glad I'm not soupxcan......I'd hate to have the time to worry about this.

I live in a neighborhood with an HOA association.....it's the battle we, and only we, enjoy.

We stay out of neighborhood wars, no one wins. I can see getting involved if a neighbor has drug parties, steals from your garage, drives drunk.....but ours don't and they have "stupid" little wars.....should a tree get trimmed?.....is the paint color an unacceptable off shade of color?"......should the community pool be cleaned in the morning or afternoon?"......Yeah, all really important. As others have said if your nieghbor doesn't cause you problems, why worry? Let me be clear.....I don't and wouldn't cheat on my taxes.....my reputation is too important! And, I do have a good friend that works for the IRS......cheating is wrong.....but, there are shades of gray......this sounds like one of them......let it go.....enjoy life!!!!!!

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