A rigged game

Welcome to Jackson County, where the game is rigged and winning is next to impossible.

The Jackson County Board of Equalization (BOE) is a rigged game and you, the taxpayer, should know going in that your chances of winning are somewhere between slim and none.

That is if you make your hearing date.

As we’ve outlined in previous editorials, the Dog made both informal appeals to the county’s taxing entity as well as a formal Board of Equalization appeal of our most recent property tax assessment.

As a point of reference, our residential property tax was hiked by 96 percent and the property tax on our office near St. John and Topping was hiked a whopping 286 percent.

Last week, we received the BOE postcard notifying us of the appeal hearing for our residence.

The postcard was mailed Sept. 30 and arrived in our mailbox Oct. 2. The date and time of the hearing was Oct. 2 at 3 p.m., a scant 1.5 hours from the time we retrieved it from our mailbox.

The Dog put a call in to County Legislative Chair Scott Burnett who intervened and contacted the BOE Chair who agreed to reschedule our hearing given the extremely short notice.

Burnett also indicated the notices were supposed to be in mailboxes at least a week ahead of the scheduled hearing date in order to give petitioners time to properly prepare.

We learned of other Northeast taxpayers in the same boat.

One Indian Mound neighbor with four parcels received her notice the same day we did with roughly the same 1.5 hour lead time on her BOE hearing.

After racing to the downtown courthouse to offer a frantic and completely unprepared testimony, she was told that an assessor would be visiting her properties in person prior to Oct. 20.

All of this begs the question: What about taxpayers who missed their BOE hearing because they didn’t get home from work in time to catch the midday mail delivery?

What if the regular mail carrier is off and mail isn’t delivered until after 5 p.m. on the date of the hearing?

How about those with Post Office boxes checked once or twice a week? What then?

Tough luck for the taxpayer? That’s what the BOE and the county must be hoping—that you’ll give up and pay up.

Let’s take a look at logistics, as well.

A typical BOE hearing day has roughly 240 cases docketed. According to a county source, there have been roughly 30,000 appeals made.

It would take roughly 125 business days—or six entire months—to hear all the formal BOE appeals.

A quick check of the BOE website revealed only four hearing days had been scheduled.

That means approximately 75 percent of the formal appeals filed by taxpayers will not be heard by the end of calendar 2019.

This just confirms what this Dog already knew: the tax-paying citizens of Jackson County are nothing more than serfs living in a feudal state, toiling madly away in vain in order to pay King Frank and his minions.

That’s called a stacked deck. A rigged game against the tax-paying public and the county, and the BOE doesn’t care a whit about who loses their property in the process.

For taxpayers, it’s a lose-lose game.

This taxpaying News-Dog thinks enough is enough. It’s time to hit the reset button and start completely over before the courthouse is stormed by an angry mob bearing torches and pitchforks.

That said, if that happens, we’ll be there to cover the event.

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