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.
“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.”
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