Here’s something encouraging!!!!
Chapter 293 law is a State of California Statute which has not been incorporated into any of the State of California Codes privately published for California’s law business. If Chapter 293 is still good law, it can be used to remove real property from the property tax rolls and prevent bogus liens from attaching, as well.
I have a friend in Michigan named Cheryl who had been contesting property tax for a few years without success. I recently helped her incorporate the Organic Laws into her discussion with county officials and helped her to put the burden of proof on those officials where it belongs. Long story short: we have recently had a success!
The County Treasurer has removed Cheryl’s land from the list of foreclosed properties (they refer to it as “redeeming the property”–effectively it is as though she paid the tax). After we warned him that he would be sued for deprivation of rights under color of law (as described in 42 USC Section 1983) if he did not cease his enforcement actions. The Treasurer has since then tried to find a statutory pretext for the removal, such as a homestead exemption or poverty exemption, but we told him Cheryl simply relies on the Organic Law and does not need any statutory exemption.
After pulling the land off the foreclosure list a couple of weeks ago, the Treasurer came to Cheryl’s house last week to learn more about her position, and she showed him that U.S. Code Volume 1, 2012 edition contains the Organic Laws as current law. He was BLOWN AWAY by this!! She explained to him the difference between a union state and “this State.”
He seemed to accept the truth of this, but was concerned that there might be a stampede of other people opting out of property tax this way, and also that he might get sued by the State for not enforcing the tax upon her. As we have shown him, the statutes do not require him to foreclose or record notices of default etc., it is expressly a voluntary action on his part to foreclose on properties and is therefore within his discretion. Therefore, the state leaves the Treasurer with the liability for any enforcement action and has no cause of action if he is persuaded not to enforce a tax for any reason (including the fact that the tax has been misapplied to land not within the taxing jurisdiction).
Cheryl is now seeking a refund of property taxes paid under protest and duress the last couple of years, and there is a State Tax Commission with the power to remove her land from the tax roll “for any reason.” This will be the next step in the process. For practical purposes, though, we have an enforcement official who is afraid to enforce this law against Cheryl. Any other official that comes along is no doubt going to be made aware of this situation. It now seems to be less about trying to get tax out of her, and more about how the State can save face. So my guess is they will try to resolve this as quietly as possible.
How we attacked the property tax:
We looked at the Michigan property tax statutes, and found that it had vague definitions of terms and suspicious qualifying language–e.g. “all real property within the jurisdiction of this state is subject to taxation, unless expressly exempted by law” and “for tax purposes, real property is all land within this state, unless exempted by law.”
We asked the County Assessor and a Supervisor what facts they relied upon for the legal conclusion that the land is real property within “this State”. Cheryl was contacted by the Attorney for the County Treasurer, who explained on the phone that “this is a feudal system,” and the property right she has in her land is subordinate to the State’s property right. We could not get a straight answer as to whether this Attorney claims she is compelled into such an arrangement, or whether they presume she volunteered for it. Notably, they would not put these arguments in writing.
In any case, as the County Treasurer moved forward to recording a default and beginning the foreclosure process to enforce payment of the tax, it seemed clear that this was a 14th Amendment issue of a lack of essential notice and potential deprivation of property without due process of law and/or an issue of compelled association and an attempt to subject Cheryl to involuntary servitude under color of law.
Cheryl had repeatedly made it clear that she had never consented to the property tax, and asked repeatedly for their evidence of her consent to treat her land as real property within “this state” and none had been provided.
I think what finally got her taken seriously is when we informed the County Treasurer that she did not understand the obligation being claimed, and that under essential due process requirements, they were required to respond to her reasonable inquiry as to the material facts and applicable law.
We asked for the definition of “this state” within the meaning of the statute defining “real property.” The Treasurer had to consult an Attorney to try to answer this question!!!! This proves the law is void for vagueness (the Treasurer doesn’t even understand why Cheryl’s land is subject to property tax!).
Thus the property tax statutes fail to provide reasonable notice as to what land is subject to taxation. On that basis, any demand for payment is a false claim, and forced payment is a ‘taking of property without due process of law.’
The Treasurer’s attorney tried to tap dance around the fact that the property tax statutes make no reference to geographical location–it was clear that he wanted us to believe that all land geographically located in Michigan is “within this state,” but it simply does not say that in the statutes. We ripped apart his feeble argument, and that was the last we heard from the Attorney. He evidently advised his client the Treasurer, that there would be a credible lawsuit if he pursued enforcement of his claim. All of a sudden, this official who had been rather dismissive with Cheryl was very attentive and respectful in his communications.
The truth of the Organic Law being current law even today is indisputable–and sudden awareness of this fact seems to have almost a magical quality–this official was able to see the statutes he enforces in the proper context for the first time–in the context of the Organic Law, one who does not consent to be governed by statutes is merely exercising his right of self-government, and is in no way a “scofflaw” or an advocate of lawlessness. This is unfortunately the perspective that law enforcement officers often have of people who emphasize their rights, simply because such officials have never been informed that the Organic Law is the current and permanent law of America.
This situation in Michigan gives me hope that common ground can be found between those who prefer self-government and the persons whose job it is to enforce statutes. But first there has to be some respect–and a credible threat of a lawsuit seems to do the trick with otherwise unresponsive enforcement persons who tend to fall back on “just doing my job” and “I don’t make the rules,” “talk to your representative” etc.
Several people have been trying to have county officials remove their real property from the property tax rolls, so far without success. The process of real property title registration which began as a voluntary act has evolved into a rigid rule bound tax scheme that allowed no relief for the real property owner, until now.
All property registration of land not on federal territory is voluntary as Chapter 293 shows. We just have to be persistent and we will get our way.
Source – Ed Rivera, and David.