By Gigi Topp
Pittsboro, NC – All very nice to quote state statutes, county regulations, etc, but the fact of the matter is that determinations on tax status are done in each of the 100 county tax offices and any semblance or appearance of uniformity was discarded when you crossed the county line.
I will qualify this by saying that I worked in the county tax office, I studied appraisal outside the county and state offered menu, have served on the Board of Equalization and Review (tax board) from 2006 to 2012 roughly, owned and managed commercial and residential real estate, and now serve on another deliberative government board.
With all questions of procedure, protocol, appeal, valuation etc so conveniently codified, the tax department could be trusted with adjudicating cases and handling appeals. Unfortunately, citizen human judgement must be applied for fairness in this area. That is why boards are appointed.
Further, I will relate an incident which caused me to want to serve on these boards. Late one night, in the tax department, two employees were working on records. The next morning, one of the employees noticed that agricultural tax exclusion records had been deleted. About half of the records for the Homestead Exemption had disappeared. I will not discuss who, what, when, and where. Suffice it to say that all your state regulations did not nor could not prevent that erasure, that crime.
Everything legally covered by government operations is managed by humans. While there are many excellent government employees, only one or two are required to foul up any department, section, or level. All faith in government is faith in the people who work there. That goes to say that you must have faith in God, because humans are fallible, faulty, and failure prone. No matter how many laws are printed, no matter how thick the manuals of regulations, no matter how competent the attorneys and bureaucrats, we mere bipeds are bound to screw up one way or the other.
I like to combine two mottos: In loco parentis, in Cruce fides.
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