LETTER: Assessment practices are privacy violationsThe most fundamental right we have as Americans is to own a home — a sanctuary where we can live in privacy without fear.
By: Mark Bunker, Mitchell
To the Editor:
The most fundamental right we have as Americans is to own a home — a sanctuary where we can live in privacy without fear.
We believe our homes are the one place where we are safe, our private lives are safe from prying eyes and ears, and no one has the right to enter without our permission unless we are outside the law.
The Davison County assessor, along with help from the state Legislature (Statute 10-3-23), has ruled that they may enter upon and inspect property for the purpose of determining the value of property or to discover and list property omitted from the tax rolls.
They have determined that this gives them the right to enter inside the home and inspect. The method of inspection is not stated nor is its objectives. To date, inspections have included looking into every part of the home and opening closets and bedroom doors without owner escort. There is no place in the home that is off limits.
I have never known of a case where a county or city government needed an excuse to raise taxes. Rarely is the public given enough information to determine by what objective process taxes are levied. So why do you need to see inside a home? There are many other ways to do it, and you will find them.
When local governments decide they need to take our freedom and rights so they can levy taxes more fairly, we obviously have the wrong people leading.
Having county employees invading our homes without regard for the privacy and sensitivities of the owner/occupant and going beyond their mandates raises many questions, aside from the fact that it is morally wrong and violates our rights.
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