Tuesday, April 29

Widow's home seized, sold to settle $6 tax claim

A widow in Pennsylvania owed the county some tax after her husband died.  She paid virtually all but failed to pay $6 or so in interest charges she claims she didn't know about.

The county seized and sold her $238,000 home to satisfy the debt.

IRS workers who fail to pay federal income tax can still manage to be paid a bonus, but when someone not employed by the government and not politically connected doesn't pay a six-buck interest claim, the county seizes their home and sells it?  Doesn't that seem...extreme?  (And yes, I do realize the bad actor here was *not* the feds, thanks.)

Does anyone imagine some government flunky doing that to, say, Hillary, or Al Sharpton?  Of course not.  But if you're not Connected, they'll sell your house for a six-buck claim.


Now, I realize government at any level can't have people refusing to pay tax or interest on same that they legitimately owe.  I mean, if government tolerated that you could eventually have weird stuff like...oh, IRS employees who haven't paid federal income tax but still get a bonus.  Stuff like that. 

But in a case like this, the county government has a perfectly easy way to collect the six bucks without selling the woman's home:  They put a "tax lien" on the house.  It a very routine measure that let's 'em collect when the house is eventually sold, with interest at a ridiculously high rate (at least in most areas).  So the county doesn't lose anything, since their continued operation shouldn't be endangered for lack of six bucks.

The part that should concern you here is that employees of the county's tax division--who were entirely familiar with tax liens (they probably file two or three a week)--instead chose to seize and sell the home.

This should scare you, because if they can do this to her....  But don't worry:  if you have political connections they won't do it to you.

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