For 35 years I tried to buy some acreage in rural southern California. Finally after the financial crash of 2007 the prices of real estate in California dropped to 40% of what had recently been. Usable real estate like housing always has more demand, but raw land has nearly no demand.
A piece of land I had watched for over ten years was back on the market. This time it was bank owned. It had been for sale for $250,000 for most of that time. I looked on the internet to find that its price had dropped to half that. Soon it was being offered for around $80,000. I quickly decided that if I was to ever have a chance at this, it had to be now.
I had to act fast and be decisive and aggressive. I could tell the bank wanted to dump this property. I made an offer of $25,000. They countered with 65. I came back at 45. They accepted it.
I took my retirement money I had worked 30 years for, out of an IRA, paid income taxtortion and IRS penalties and purchased the land.
My lifetime dream was finally a reality! Fantastic!
I had dealt with a number of real estate agents in the area for years, making various inquiries and occasional lowball offers. Everyone agreed that the property taxes would never be more than the 1% of value per year. This was commonly known throughout California since Proposition 13 passed in the 70s.
Recently I had heard that the politicians and bureaucrats had been cheating Prop. 13 with added “fees” that they said were not taxes. Cheating the dictionary, the latest technique. I was assured by many unrelated people that the “taxes” could not be much more than the 1%. They ended up being nearly $6000 a year, with school districts, unusable water lines buried in a road and numerous other concoctions creating the bulk of the bill.
Six thousand dollars a year on a $45,000 piece of raw wilderness land. That means that every 7 1/2 years the owner must completely re-buy his own land!
Needless to say I was dumbfounded. I went to the County Tax Assessor’s office to complain and apply for a re-assessment. It was a waste of time. I was told the “tax” assessment wasn’t even based on the price I paid but on some average of comparable properties that they concoct. Of course a reassessment would not have lowered it enough to become affordable anyway.
I had five years to find a way to keep it or sell it.
In my research I came across a subject called “land grants” and “land patents” which I did not know. That subject went back in history before 1776 when all the lands in the world were held by monarchs. Kings held “allodial title”. This meant absolute ownership answerable to no one except God.
By the founding of the united States of America allodial title transferred to the people. The highest jurisdiction in America was not a king, but the people. This meant that people were to own their property outright and absolutely.
Even before 1776 this idea was in transition with later kings giving lands to nobles and lords to rule as a reward for loyalty.
The original English colonies were created by contracting with the pilgrims in return for their commerce with the home country.
With 1776 every individual in America was, in effect, a king.
To pay endless debt forever on your own property is extortion not taxes. To pay rent when your property is paid in full means you only pretend to be a property owner. It is foolish hypocrisy.
The costs of running a legitimate county can be paid with constitutional funding.
Learning all this led me to the question, what if anything could I do?
I found a fellow in Idaho who could do the research, and prepare the papers for me to file my land patent.
He told me how to do some of the research at my end. He said (and I confirmed it) that the historical land ownership records for California were among the most solid in the USA.
Apparently the original inhabitants had no concept of land ownership or boundaries. Tribes would fight for domination. Populations were small and life was simple survival. When the Spanish came they claimed the land for their king. This royal allodial title transferred to Mexico after their revolution.
The last Mexican governor of California, Pio Pico gave a man named Juan Moreno a land grant called the Rancho Santa Rosa. My land was part of it. When California became part of America Mr. Moreno applied for his American land patent. He got it.
When I purchased my parcel, allodial title transferred to me. That is the law. That is federal law. California accepted that law when they became a State in 1849. My filing of land patent papers was just for the purpose of giving legal notice. It was not to start an ownership which already automatically transferred to me upon payment for the property.
I took the papers to the local property assessor’s office. I was informed that they “could not accept papers not on their approved list of acceptable papers for filing”. Approved by who? Approved in violation of law? They also had a notice they handed me that there was a big fine for trying a second time… supposedly a law passed by the state legislature. (in violation of federal land patent law)
The Idaho fellow informed me of a national organization to file with also. I did.
I also called the newspapers who told me they were also being intimidated by the county to not accept such papers being run in the legal notices section. They said I could possibly run a formal display ad for a very high price I could not afford, with unknown results.
No one seems to remember that taxing property is forbidden in America. Part of the definition of America is that life, liberty and property are not taxable. Add a sales tax onto a transaction… fine, but extortion is a no-no. Taxing people directly is forbidden because taxing people directly isn’t real taxing. It is extortion.
Taxing States directly is ok because States are not people. When the States and their agencies (counties, cities, departments) tax the people indirectly, they can fund themselves as well as their share of the federal government. By adding a tax onto a transaction like a sales tax or excise, the tax is applied to an action that can be postponed or avoided, keeping control in the hands of the people. Taxing people directly is crushing people.
I was forced to sell my land. The market for raw land was still not there. I barely sold it within the five years before they would have stolen both it and the money I paid for it.
County “Tax Assessor”
Assessing properties is not constitutional. To be constitutional all taxes must be indirect or excises. Direct taxes are on States not people. The very name of this office and officer is a fraud. It completely violates the principle of “life, liberty and property” being sacrosanct.
Like so many government oppressions we suffer under today, it started roughly in the 1920s as a small fee at county offices. Since it was small and affected few people in minor ways no one did anything to stop it. Over time it grew in size and scope as new generations who knew no better were directed to “just accept it as part of life.”
The “income tax” came about the same way. It started out as a small “tax” on the very rich directed only at their overseas offshore profits. Due to ignorance even among the rich it expanded by bureaucratic fiat and naive, misinformed and corrupt politics to encompass us all. Of course, common sense tells us there can be no such thing as an “income tax” because income is property and property cannot be taxed.
If a “necktie party” was the reward for stealing a horse, then what is the reward for stealing a whole ranch?