A Shining Example Of Local Government In Action

There is a house in New Orleans Valparaiso, Indiana that’s worth approximately $121,900. In the latest example of government brilliance, property tax collectors valued the house’s value at $400 million.

Apparently it was a glitch, some former program in one of the government computers messed things up. A local official described the defective program this way:

“It didn’t get fixed all the way,” Murphy said.

Well, good to see that their local Department of Stating The Obvious is on the ball.

At any rate, $8 million was supposedly owed on this house, when the normal tax bill is about $1500. This is basically a funny story, but there is an insidious side to it… what about all the minor glitches that only add a hundred or two? Those hardly would have made CNN, but they’re likely far more frequent, and citizens are far less capable of fighting them.

Stuart Richards

Stuart Richards is a 26-year-old land surveyor based out of Portland, OR. He is a left-leaning geolibertarian and (theologically) liberal Christian, and has been blogging on HammerofTruth.com and other libertarian sites since 2004.

  1. Another item that has been over rated is Mozilla Firefox.
    I used it for a month or so, that is until it kept trying to update itself. Each time it updated, it became useless. I would reset to the old version, which would work for a day or so, then it would update itself. Heck with it. Maybe the Valipariso tax folks did it.

  2. One has to wonder whether any bells went off when their budget was millions higher than the previous year. It appears that they didn’t even bother to question it. “We have so much more loot this year. Quick. Let’s spend it.”

    “City leaders said Thursday the error could cause layoffs and cost-cutting measures.”

    If only it were true. They’ll just find another way to fleece their constituents to make up for the error.

  3. Um, why would you want an old, bug-ridden, security-hole-filled version of any browser? The latest firefox is very good, IMO. It took me a couple of days to get used to the new options interface, but I’m coping.

  4. uhm, what does a property tax story have to do with a fucking web browser anyways? can you say astroturf?

  5. This is one occasion eminent domain might be welcome.

    If the government seized the home, and, as legally required, gave the owner the appraised value… Cha-Ching.

  6. Unfortunately to the previous post by putrimalu, I know enough on the subject as it pertains to my job-function that I can say that such is not true. The “taxable assessed value” has nigh-unto nothing to do with the actual assessed value of the property. While, yes, they are connected, one does not accurately reflect the other. And it is the “fair-market value” of the property which is supposed to be given to the property owner. Which in many cases is far, far less than the property is in fact actually worth, as the “Fair-market value” is something those exerting eminent domain get to exert.

    The truth of the matter is that if the 8 million were never paid and the government exerted eminent domain, the home-owner would remain indebted to the state for that amount.

    There’s something very similar to this going on right now in Central Phoenix with the light-rail that is being built. But that’s not something I know enough about to comment on effectively.

  7. TF, you’ll probably have to make a new Firefox profile, as a lot of 1.0 profiles give 1.5 grief.

  8. There’s something very similar to this going on right now in Central Phoenix with the light-rail that is being built. But that’s not something I know enough about to comment on effectively.

    I agree I do not know enough to mount a successful arguement one way or the other. I do however know where it is planned to route. To me it seems more of a pet project, and a lining of pockets than an actual solution to our horrid mass transit and over populating urban sprawl! I voted against it, not because we have no need of mass transit… I voted against it because the route(s) is(are) a joke!