Wilson County man says officials refuse to see evidence pointing to inflated home appraisal

Wilson County man says officials refuse to see evidence pointing to inflated home appraisal

Bill Haupt says Wilson County officials appraised his home at 40 percent over market value. He showed up at the county courthouse to complain, but officials told him to get lost.

Haupt got the brush off after he and his wife, a certified accountant, spent 60 hours researching their case. The pair came to the county’s five-member Board of Equalization meeting last week with letters from two real estate officers and a bank saying the county improperly appraised Haupt’s house.

Haupt said he paid the $35 fee to make his case and that Tennessee Comptrollers told him that, legally, he had 15 minutes to talk.

“We had our ducks in a row. My wife and I invested 60 hours in research. I came wearing a 1,000-dollar Brooks Brothers Suit, and my wife wore a suit, too. I’m always very courteous. I don’t like to make enemies,” Haupt said.

Bill Haupt (photo courtesy of Facebook)

Bill Haupt (photo courtesy of Facebook)

“The agents looked at letters from the bank and said houses on both sides of you are taxed at a higher rate. I said they are much larger houses. Another guy says, ‘I motion no assessment, meeting over.’”

None of the five board members were available for comment Wednesday and Thursday. County officials gave Tennessee Watchdog telephone numbers for all five of them, but four of those numbers were disconnected. The board member with a working phone, Eddie Stott, did not return a request for comment.

Wilson County Property Assessor Jack Pratt did not immediately return Tennessee Watchdog’s request for comment Thursday.

Haupt said he knows property taxes are one of life’s necessities, but he takes issue with how they’re enforced.

“The laws themselves are fine, but the process is problematic,” Haupt said.

“You’re being stopped right there at local government, the place where it’s supposed to be corrected.”

Contact Christopher Butler at chris@tennesseewatchdog.org 

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  • JAT

    The laws are not fine nor is the process. IF the board can dismiss the appeal based on the rates his neighbors are taxed, then the argument for 1 to 1 comparisons of any similar properties in the entire county are valid. How it actually works is they hold the line that only recorded sales of "comparables" to have any weight. If you want an appraisal to be considered at all, you better make sure you pay an crony appraiser of the assessor or board member and it will likely cost you at least triple, if not five times what it really should cost. TCA needs revamping as does county laws which most often provide for "pick and choose" upholding, enforcing or ignoring of legislature codified statutes, and typically at the discretion of just a few politicians. No Mr. Haupt, the system and laws are not fine and even at TCA levels, provide for no 14th amendment equal protection, much less fair and just. Ask why you are denied the information as to what each and every parameter on your, and your neighbor’s tax card actually mean and the equations to calculate your appraisal. The state refuses to share that with you and it appears pretty clear to me that condition exists to create a cottage industry of appraisers and property tax attorneys to profiteer from any abuse the local crooks subject the people. Imagine if you had to go thru the same with each and every taxable purchase you made. How can the laws and system be fine with these realities?

  • “Haupt said he paid the $35 fee to make his case and that Tennessee Comptrollers told him that, legally, he had 15 minutes to talk.”

    So, let me get this straight, you must pay a fee for the privilege of being allowed to speak to your servants?

    • Bill Hoppy Haupt

      Hi Ron. I am a watchdog reporter and journalist also and sometimes we have to put as much as we can in a short article. The info I gave Chris was extensive and a lot to go through. But to be clear, the 1st hearing at the county is free, but a waste of time. They deny you justice and kick you out. then each hearing after that is with the state and then with the courts and you pay a fee starting at $40 for each one. When you get to the Chancery8 court you not oly pay a fee, but you pay court costs and those of an attorney yo have to hire to prove you are innocent. So essentially you are buying back all of your natural God given and Constitutional rights when you are innocently tying to get them to follow the state constitution that says “all property is reassessed at fair market value”! I hope I cleared that up. But it is really much worse than Chris stated. This will happen to every county in the state by the end of next year!

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