Friday, August 6, 2010

Livid

Seems here lately I have been wishing on a star that I will go to bed one night a woman and wake up the next morning a bank.
Specifically...I want a bail out...

I just got off the phone with the Gwinnett County tax department.

And I am pissed.

Seems I am being taxed on my home's value from 2007--BEFORE THE CRASH OF THE HOUSING MARKET.

So my annual taxes on this place continue to INCREASE, despite the fact that my home is now worth 1/3 OF IT'S 2007 VALUE.

That's right folks. I am paying taxes on an $80,000 property when my home is currently on the market for 20,000 bucks. Let me reiterate--taxes on $80,000; net worth only $20,000.

I am about to stage a fucking revolt.

"So what can be done about it?", you ask. Surely the county can provide a reassessment of the property and tax it at its current value? Surely that's what's JUST and RIGHT, especially in an economy where damn near everyone is struggling?

Ummm...no.

Why not? Because apparently home values for tax purposes are only assessed every 5 years. No ifs, ands or buts. So for those of us initially evaluated less than 5 years ago? Looks like we're up the creek, now where's that damned paddle...

According to Mr. I-Don't-Give-A-Damn-About-Your-Plight on the phone, this 5 year assessment policy will change next year. As of next year, properties will be appraised annually.

Sucks for me.

And for you too.

Because as we continue to struggle, and I continue wishing on Polaris that my name was Wells Fucking Fargo, no one is coming to bat for us. No silver tongued orator is taking up our cause with Congress. No activist is organizing the bus boycott. No caped super hero disguised as a regular bloke is currently making a quick change in a phone booth.

Instead, we are sitting in the audience, watching...expecting Oprah Winfrey to come out to film her "Favorite things" episode, when it's much more likely that Maury Povich will enter from behind the curtain.

As I sit, seething, I feel utterly exhausted.
I confess the largest part of me wants to give in, give up and hoist a white flag.

My spirit, however, refuses to go gently into that good night. (Henceforth, my spirit shall operate under the pseudonym 'Dylan Thomas'...To all my 'literary' readers, you are welcome...)

"Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light..."

You see, tired as we are, we can't give up. We just can't. It's not our destiny. It's not our shared American heritage. It's not our way.

I know so many people out there are struggling, wondering when this drought is going to end. I confess, I do not know. But I do not that it will not end if we continue to go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light... or maybe just at the bastards that prepare your tax bill...

Isaiah 6:8

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