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Scaring You Into Paying More Money

Rezzealaux
Posts: 2,251
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5/4/2010 7:19:29 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
So today I heard this funny story from my dad about how the city government is trying to scare him sh*tless so he'll pay them more money.

Yeah that's what this thread is gonna be about. None of that generic anarchist "Taxes is merely extortion at a point of a gun!" stuff today :D Just a personal story.


So I'mma type it up word for word, I'll upload a piccy later on it.

I bolded stuff I thought was important or funny. Some of it is anti-statist humor, of course :D
RE: UNION CITY BUSINESS LICENSE REGULATIONS (RENTALS)

In an effort to ensure that all fees and taxes are being collected by the City of Union City, per adopted ordinances and municipal codes, and to prevent unnecessary service level reductions for the community, the City recently audited Union City property tax records. As a result of that audit, it has been determined that you have operated the following rental unit(s) in Union City since [date], but have not obtained an annual business license:

Rental Property Street Address: [Where I've lived all my life with my family and my family only. And no, my parents do not make us pay rent.]
City, State, Zip: [Where I live]
Parcel #: [Not gonna give this out per ID obviousness]

Per section 5.20.070 of the City's Municipal Code, "Every person engaged in the business of renting dwelling units located in the City for residential use, as an ownder leasing to another person or as a lessee or sublessee subleasing to another person, shall pay an annual business license fee as established annually by City Council resolution."

While you may have been unaware of this, that does not remove the responsibility to obtain and renew a business license annually. Critical services such as public safety are put in jeopardy if required fees and taxes are not paid.

Nevertheless, the city is only requesting current years plus 3 years prior (where applicable) and is waiving any other fees owed except mandatory penalty of 10% for each month late up to a maximum of 50% each year per section 5.16.100 of the Municipal Code. Thus, please remit the total owed amount in box below by June 1, 2010. Failure to do so may result in further penalties and collection actions up to and including a property lien:

[A big chart, saying total owed is several hundred bucks.]

Please also complete attached business license application and return with past due fees owed. Your next annual business license for 2010-11 is due by July 1, 2010. You will receive a separate notice prior to that date.

If you have received this notice in error, please supply the City with adequate proof that this is not a rental unit(s). Final determination will be made by city staff after additional review. If you have questions, you may contact me at number or e-mail address listed below.

[Some person, "Financial Specialist". Number and email.]

So basically, this is my city's version of that Pennysylvania Department of Revenue video that was posted up recently. Except it's a much bigger failure. It's pretty funny too, how they've "determined that [my mom and dad]" have been "operating" a "rental unit". The date that they blanked out is within this decade. I've been living in this house for over a decade.

Nobody has ever been given a room outside my "nuclear" family except for grandma when she comes over. And we don't charge her anything, so even if you're some sick kind of socialist a s s hole and think that just because granny comes over, a house becomes a "rental unit", it doesn't fit the legal definition.

I believe the state is inefficient, but uhh, this is pretty funny. Dad thinks it's because he uses a PO box for mailing stuff to the government. Which makes sense, especially if you think about it from a "revenue agent"'s point of view.
Hmm, if I want a raise, I need to get the city money. Who can we extract it from? Well, there all these laws nobody bothers to follow, we can chase them up on those! But everyone else has already gotten the obvious ones. Hmm.... oh I know! Let's send everyone who has a PO box for their tax mail is thing about how they're renting out! I mean, it makes sense, right? Why would they use a PO box for it if they actually lived there? This is great. Boss is gonna love this.

Sigh.

But in any case, I wanted to a question. The thing at the end.
If you have received this notice in error, please supply the City with adequate proof that this is not a rental unit(s).
What the f*ck is this about? Guilty until proven innocent? I mean sure you can say if they treat you as innocent until proven guilty it wouldn't fit in with all the other legislation that's being passed these days, but still. What the hell is this? My parents have to prove that this house is not a rental unit?

Or if we want to go off the conspiracy end, the state has caught onto me and now they want info and they think my parents will give it >)

My parents aren't going to reply to the letter.
Nor are they going to send back the business license application that came with it.

What do you think, everyone?
: If you weren't new here, you'd know not to feed me such attention. This is like an orgasm in my brain right now. *hehe, my name is in a title, hehe* (http://www.debate.org...)

Just in case I get into some BS with FREEDO again about how he's NOT a narcissist.

"The law is there to destroy evil under the constitutional government."
So... what's there to destroy evil inside of and above the constitutional government?
belle
Posts: 4,113
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5/4/2010 7:25:11 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
o.O

lol i think you're reading too much into it. i agree that they probably just mailed them out to whoever they thought *might* be renting as a way of fishing for revenue, but i don't see them trying to scare you guys anywhere. nor do i see any "guilty until proven innocent". what they are saying is that they supposedly have information that you're doing something illegal. unless you disavow them of that notion they will take legal action. guilty until proven innocent would be them accusing you and then throwing your dad in jail until he could produce evidence that he wasn't renting out the property.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Korashk
Posts: 4,597
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5/4/2010 7:26:55 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Ya...That's pretty f'ed up. I support ignoring the letter if everything that you've said is true. Though could this in fact not be from the government but some sort of scam failure?
When large numbers of otherwise-law abiding people break specific laws en masse, it's usually a fault that lies with the law. - Unknown
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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5/4/2010 7:32:42 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I think they're obviously in error, especially with what you've said. Not impossible, considering the rather silly ineptness of municipal governments.

However, about the last bolded part, I don't think that's entirely out of line. The fact is that there probably exists a record somewhere, however mistaken it may be, that says this property has been rented out in the past. The municipal government will go with what its records say over what the property owner says, especially given the nature of the subject (taxation) and the amount of fraud that comes with it. It's similar to a company finding a file saying someone worked there, even though that person never did. If you're the company owner, it's natural to believe your own records over the person until proof is provided otherwise.
Rezzealaux
Posts: 2,251
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5/4/2010 8:34:31 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/4/2010 7:25:11 PM, belle wrote:
o.O

lol i think you're reading too much into it. i agree that they probably just mailed them out to whoever they thought *might* be renting as a way of fishing for revenue, but i don't see them trying to scare you guys anywhere.
True enough. For people who actually are renting out houses (though if my dad's predicted method is correct, this statement won't hold much water), it's not really scaring them. Just asking them to pay up.
nor do i see any "guilty until proven innocent". what they are saying is that they supposedly have information that you're doing something illegal. unless you disavow them of that notion they will take legal action. guilty until proven innocent would be them accusing you and then throwing your dad in jail until he could produce evidence that he wasn't renting out the property.
Well, they're threatening a lien if we don't do anything. That seems sufficient to fit "guilty until proven innocent" to me, at least in civil suits.

At 5/4/2010 7:26:55 PM, Korashk wrote:
Ya...That's pretty f'ed up. I support ignoring the letter if everything that you've said is true. Though could this in fact not be from the government but some sort of scam failure?
True enough, it might be a scam. I wouldn't know if it is or isn't, I don't have experiencing spotting them. I trust my dad with it. My dad doesn't think it's a scam. At least, not a non-governmental scam. (That statement has none of my anarchist influences on it.)

At 5/4/2010 7:32:42 PM, Volkov wrote:
However, about the last bolded part, I don't think that's entirely out of line. The fact is that there probably exists a record somewhere, however mistaken it may be, that says this property has been rented out in the past.
No. They can't chase for fees past a certain number years. More importantly, the dates of what they say we do owe them for, are false.
The municipal government will go with what its records say over what the property owner says, especially given the nature of the subject (taxation) and the amount of fraud that comes with it. It's similar to a company finding a file saying someone worked there, even though that person never did. If you're the company owner, it's natural to believe your own records over the person until proof is provided otherwise.
I guess. I'm not talking about what to believe though. I'm talking about actually liening without taking to court. Can the city actually do anything about this without taking this to court? I'm not sure about it, would you like to tell me about it, legal perspective guy? :D
: If you weren't new here, you'd know not to feed me such attention. This is like an orgasm in my brain right now. *hehe, my name is in a title, hehe* (http://www.debate.org...)

Just in case I get into some BS with FREEDO again about how he's NOT a narcissist.

"The law is there to destroy evil under the constitutional government."
So... what's there to destroy evil inside of and above the constitutional government?
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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5/4/2010 8:41:54 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/4/2010 8:34:31 PM, Rezzealaux wrote:
I guess. I'm not talking about what to believe though. I'm talking about actually liening without taking to court. Can the city actually do anything about this without taking this to court? I'm not sure about it, would you like to tell me about it, legal perspective guy? :D

I suspect that no, they can't claim it unless you agree to pay the charges voluntarily. If your father appeals against the charges, or if the evidence provided doesn't make them change their minds, then it goes to court.

This is more of a notice of what the city wants to collect/clarify.
Rezzealaux
Posts: 2,251
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5/4/2010 8:50:44 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/4/2010 8:41:54 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 5/4/2010 8:34:31 PM, Rezzealaux wrote:
I guess. I'm not talking about what to believe though. I'm talking about actually liening without taking to court. Can the city actually do anything about this without taking this to court? I'm not sure about it, would you like to tell me about it, legal perspective guy? :D

I suspect that no, they can't claim it unless you agree to pay the charges voluntarily. If your father appeals against the charges, or if the evidence provided doesn't make them change their minds, then it goes to court.
He doesn't plan to appeal or provide evidence. What happens?

This is more of a notice of what the city wants to collect/clarify.
If this is a normal kind of notice, then d@mn, they really use fearmongering a lot.
: If you weren't new here, you'd know not to feed me such attention. This is like an orgasm in my brain right now. *hehe, my name is in a title, hehe* (http://www.debate.org...)

Just in case I get into some BS with FREEDO again about how he's NOT a narcissist.

"The law is there to destroy evil under the constitutional government."
So... what's there to destroy evil inside of and above the constitutional government?
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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5/4/2010 8:52:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/4/2010 8:50:44 PM, Rezzealaux wrote:
He doesn't plan to appeal or provide evidence. What happens?

Then the city will take him to court, unless there is some provision in US law that allows them to take it out of municipal taxes. I'm guessing there isn't, though.

If this is a normal kind of notice, then d@mn, they really use fearmongering a lot.

I don't know if its too normal. xD I don't see it being too intimidating, though. Maybe its just the cold bureaucratic tone.
Rezzealaux
Posts: 2,251
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5/4/2010 9:04:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/4/2010 8:52:47 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 5/4/2010 8:50:44 PM, Rezzealaux wrote:
He doesn't plan to appeal or provide evidence. What happens?

Then the city will take him to court, unless there is some provision in US law that allows them to take it out of municipal taxes. I'm guessing there isn't, though.
Coo den.

If this is a normal kind of notice, then d@mn, they really use fearmongering a lot.

I don't know if its too normal. xD I don't see it being too intimidating, though. Maybe its just the cold bureaucratic tone.
Okai.
: If you weren't new here, you'd know not to feed me such attention. This is like an orgasm in my brain right now. *hehe, my name is in a title, hehe* (http://www.debate.org...)

Just in case I get into some BS with FREEDO again about how he's NOT a narcissist.

"The law is there to destroy evil under the constitutional government."
So... what's there to destroy evil inside of and above the constitutional government?