The Day I Kicked The Property Tax Assessor Off My Property

Today I got a phone call from my wife who told me that someone was at the door saying they were a city assessor and that he wanted to come into our house to assess its value for taxes.
This is something I’ve never understood about taxes like the property tax and/or the income tax. Most Americans take their privacy pretty seriously. They don’t want people looking at their bank accounts or their medical records, yet we submit to taxation that allows a government official to come and search through our homes (property assessors) or got through our financial records (income tax auditor) on the off chance we might be evading taxes.
It’s, frankly, more than a little infuriating.
So I asked my wife to put me on the phone with the gentleman from the City of Minot. He got on the phone and said that he wanted to check through my house to see if my property taxes needed to be raised. I told him I wasn’t comfortable with him going through my house, and asked him why the City of Minot needs more property taxes. After all, didn’t we just get $300 million in property tax relief from the state legislature?
He told me that the state has actually been cutting spending (we’ve had a 54% increase in general fund spending over the last four years!) and that’s why the city needs to tax more/spend more.
My response to him was to say that he could remove himself from my property and assess my home’s value from the street. And why should it be otherwise? Why should we be forced to pay a property tax at all?
The property tax simply isn’t right. To enforce it the government has to search my property. And a property tax essentially means that I’ll never own my property. Even if I pay off my mortgage I’ll still have to pay the tax. And if I refuse to pay the tax for long enough they’ll come and seize my home from me. What’s more, there are taxes already paid on my property. You pay taxes when you purchase a home. You pay sales taxes and permit fees when you remodel or add on to your home. Why do we need a property tax as well?
Other than to fuel government overspending?
We here in North Dakota were promised that our property taxes wouldn’t be going up, but they are going up despite massive budget surpluses. Someone needs to be held accountable for that. And we also need to end any system of taxation that requires an invasion of our privacy to enforce.
I’m not against taxes to fund necessary functions of government. I am against taxes that require some random government agent to walk through my bedroom.
Update: Apparently the folks at the American Spectator think I’m a “hero” for this. I don’t know about that, but I do know that more Americans should fight this stuff instead of just rolling over.

Curmudgeonly sesquipedalian.

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