|This summons was obtained from www.iblaze.com|
I lived in New Jersey as a young adult, and I do certainly remember the exorbitant property taxes on our teeny first house. (Thousands of dollars a year on an eight hundred square foot home.) After four years, we sold and moved out of state.
Today, many news sources are telling the story of Mrs. Eileen Hart, a Newfield (Franklin Township) resident, an Orthodox Jew, and homeschooling mother of a seven year old little girl. Mrs. Hart has no history of a mental illness and no prior brushes with the law of any kind. She and her husband attended a meeting this week in the Gloucester Community Center which had been designed to question and complain regarding the new tax assessments leveled in her community by Appraisal Systems, Inc., a company that had been hired to reassess property values. During the meeting, Mrs. Hart read from the Constitution, and complained that in a completely flat or deteriorating local real estate market, that her home property assessment should not double. Additionally, representatives of the Appraisal Systems Co. had tried to enter her home, and that as an Orthodox Jew, she is required to have her husband present prior to any inspections, and so she asked them to reschedule. The County Assessor did not like the direction in which Mrs. Hart's statement was going, and she was interrupted and not allowed to continue. The County Assessor said that she had the "right to enforce the law".
Residents of the area 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 has historically assessed much higher values on homes, leading to increased taxes. Mrs. 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.
“I didn’t scream, I didn’t yell,” she told the Examiner. “I have the right to air my grievances against the government in a public setting. I’ve never threatened anyone a day in my life.”
“She also wouldn’t let me speak and told me to sit down and shut up and listen as well,” she explained. “That’s when the young man came toward me. I knew he was going to put his hands on me. I saw him out of the corner of my eye. I said to him ‘Don’t you dare touch me.’ Then they threw us out of the auditorium. The young man from Appraisal Systems, Inc. was the one going postal, and I believe if he had a gun, he would have shot me (and my family) on the spot. I was calm the entire time.” People at the meeting say that Mrs. Hart did not swear at any time, and that her arguments were rational and getting traction.
Mrs. Hart was arrested in front of her young daughter. She was handcuffed to a chair at the police station. She has been charged with making "terroristic threats". Apparently, it's a threat if you question the accuracy and fairness of your property tax assessment.
Interestingly, no one at the meeting heard anything even remotely threatening from Mrs. Hart as she sat with her husband and young child.
A spokeswoman for Gloucester County said the assessor “has never experienced this type of extreme behavior from a taxpayer” and the police were notified, apparently because reading the Constitution is considered extremist and a threat.
Although Hart exercised her Fourth Amendment right by not allowing an inspection by government without a court-issued warrant, it did manage to violate her Second Amendment right by confiscating her firearms.
After police arrested her, they demanded she hand over her two guns, a .357-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver and a .40-caliber Glock for “safekeeping.” If she had refused, a judge would have set bail too high for her family to pay.
“I have permits for each of them. I applied legally, I got them legally,” she said. “Now I can’t defend myself. I never said the word ‘gun’ at the meeting. None of those people would have even known I was a gun owner.”
As she left the meeting, an employee of Assessment Appraisal Systems is alleged to have said, "See if you can pay any of your property taxes now !"
|Seized property list from www.iblaze.com|
Portions of my post, particularly the quotes from Mrs. Hart are taken verbatim from:
|Eileen Hart and her daughter during a recent trip to Israel|
References to this post:
You might want to let some of these people know what you think, if in fact you don't have to traverse the State of New Jersey anytime soon.
Assessment Appraisal Systems, Inc.
They have been making changes to their website today, so here are two of their four addresses and
266 Harristown Rd. Glen Rock, NJ 201-493-8530
110 S Jefferson Rd. Whippany, NJ 973-386-1111
Tax Assessor Robin Glockner-Hammond
|Woolwich Township||Robyn Glockner-Hammond||(856) 467-2666||age Green Dr.|
Elk Joint Municipal Court, 667, Whig Lane Rd., Monroeville, NJ, (856) 881-6631
If people who go to meetings to question their property taxes or the actions of their local government can be arrested, charged in front of their children, simply because they question the actions of the persons who are working for all of us, then America is already lost. I tried to call all of the people involved today to ask them what happpened, and to imply that the world is watching. No one would answer the phone.
Please contact any and all of the people above as your conscience permits, and let them know that all over the world, people are watching. Local governments in the US should not intimidate, attack or threaten their citizens. I wonder if Russia Today and Al Jazeera are covering this ? We certainly didn't win any hearts and minds around the world today.
People who are interested in contributing to help to pay for Eileen Hart's legal fees, can show their support, with any amount, $5.00. $10.00, or much more, whatever you can spare by contributing to the Eileen Hart Legal Defense Fund
One can use paypal or other means at the link above.
An additional place to contribute to The Eileen Hart Legal Defense Fund using Fundly
Thank you all for standing with Mrs. Hart and her family.