March 13, 2013
Police in Clayton, New Jersey, confiscated two guns from a woman after she complained about county government moving to raise her property taxes and inspect her property without a search warrant.
Eileen Hart of Franklin Township was arrested and charged with making terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and harassing officials from the Gloucester County Office of Assessment and Appraisal Systems, Inc.
A county tax assessor told police Hart attended a meeting held with Franklin Township residents to discuss a property revaluation program the county instituted to “bring all home values up to the current market value,” according to the South Jersey Times.
Assessment and Appraisal Systems told the Gloucester County Times last August the pilot revaluation program is not about raising taxes. “A revaluation is not necessary to raise taxes,” Ernest DelGuercio, CEO of the assessment company, told the newspaper. “It ensures everyone is paying their fair share – no more and no less.”
Residents have complained the assessment program violates the Fourth Amendment. In order to make revaluation assessments and determine the tax value of a property, company inspectors must enter homes and inspect them. If not allowed to do so, the company often assesses higher values on homes, leading to increased taxes.
Eileen Hart said she did not allow the Assessment and Appraisal Systems to inspect her home because her husband was not present at the time. She also cited religious reasons. Because it was denied access, the company revalued her property at a higher rate. Hart attended the meeting last weekend to complain about the revaluation and the arbitrary move by the county to assess the value of her property.
After she began reciting the Constitution to support her argument, an Appraisal Systems employee escorted her from the public building.
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