“Property Taxes” and the Consent of the Governed

What is the nature of this organization of people calling themselves the “government”? Is it based in consent, as their own founding documents claim? Or are they actually a group of men and women doing business by the threat of violence? The latter is what most of the people I associate with believe, but which is the truth? Earlier this year, I ventured into a similar area when I questioned the government people over a parking ticket. You can read parts one and two of that here. (Eventually, I will write a part three when time permits!)

So, now we begin a new saga into the world of “property taxes”.

If you’re like me, paying property taxes is a painful experience. You know that the government people are going to waste your money and that they will have little to no accountability for what they choose to do with it. Not to mention that a huge chunk of it goes to the government indoctrination camps where it is inevitably used to dumb down young people and brainwash them into the belief that the state is great. Alas, you have to pay it… or else.

Or, do you? Did you ever ask yourself how you became obligated to pay property tax bills in the first place? Do you ever remember signing a contract binding you to that obligation?

When the people calling themselves the “CITY OF KEENE” recently sent me “2008 PRELIMINARY PROPERTY TAX BILL” I decided it was time to get some answers to the questions I have. In fact, by their own rules (rules which they agreed to follow and I have not) when one is presented with a bill, one may demand to see the original contract that created the obligation in the first place. You might be saying to yourself, “Ian, you know they don’t follow their own rules.”, and you would be right. However asking these questions and posting their responses publicly will shine more light on their dishonorable activities, perhaps persuading others that now is the time for noncooperation with their dictates. With that in mind, I will post the full text of the “NOTICE OF DISCUSSION” that I sent in response to receiving their “TAX BILL”, followed by the tax collector’s response, and my reply I sent to her this morning.

First, here’s a link to a scan of the “2008 PRELIMINARY PROPERTY TAX BILL”. Look carefully at it and you’ll notice that curiously, there are no dollar signs anywhere to be found. Honest mistake, you say? From what I understand, Keene is not the only place where property tax bills have no dollar signs. Here’s another interesting point. Take a look at the water bill. It looks like it was designed on similar software and it has dollar signs all over it. Provided they can actually prove I’m obligated to pay this bill, I would like to know what it is that they would like 2,651.21 of! Bananas? Zimbabwe dollars? Gold bars? So, the idea here is to clarify the nature of the bill they have sent me. Here is the text of the “NOTICE OF DISCUSSION” that I had notarized and hand delivered to them on June 30, 2008 in response to their bill. You can also see scans of the notarized version here: page1 and page2.

June 30, 2008
CITY OF KEENE
REVENUE COLLECTOR
3 Washington St.
Keene, NH 03431

To Whom it May Concern,

I am writing in acknowledgement of the receipt of a “2008 PRELIMINARY PROPERTY TAX BILL” for PROPERTY ID XXXXXX, commonly known as XXXXXXXX, issued on the 14th of May 2008, demanding the amount of “2,651.21”.

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Ian Bernard, an agent for BERNARD IAN. It is not my intention now, nor has it ever been my intention to defraud anyone. As a show of good faith I’m including a check for $2,651.21 in USD. If in fact, BERNARD IAN owes such an amount to your agency, you may deposit the check and discharge this matter in full when you provide to me the following:

• Evidence of the valid, original instrument with my signature binding BERNARD IAN and/or his agent(s) to the obligation to your “PROPERTY TAX”.
• Considering I can not find evidence on the “TAX BILL” showing you are demanding US Dollars (USD), please define how one would properly satisfy your demand of “2,651.21”.

I also require that you answer the following questions responsively. Please keep your answers appropriately enumerated to the questions:
1. Factually, what are the “CITY OF KEENE” and the “STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE”?
2. Do the group of men and women calling themselves the “CITY OF KEENE” have “authority”?
3. If so, what are the origins of and how did you as a member of that group, receive this “authority”?
4. Is your government a voluntary association of consenting individuals?
5. Do you believe you have the right to aggress against those who do not consent to your government?
6. Who owns the property commonly known as XXXXXXXXXXX?

Unless I receive the above evidence and answers within 45 days of your receipt of this hand-delivered notice, on the principle of estoppel by acquiescence I shall assume that there is no contractual authority for your agency to make this demand and that BERNARD IAN and/or his agent is not obligated to any CITY OF KEENE “TAX BILL” until a meeting of the minds is reached, and a contract signed.

It is my understanding that your organization offers certain services, some of which I may be interested in contracting for, but we can discuss that after this initial discussion is resolved.

Please respond to the address below via a service with delivery confirmation so you can be certain that my mailbox agents have received it.

Please note that any correspondence is subject to being posted on the blog at FreeKeene.com

Sincerely,
Ian Bernard
39 Central Sq. #313
Keene, NH 03431

While it took the police bureaucracy over a month and a half to respond to my parking ticket discussion, to the credit of the tax collector, Ms. Mary Alther, she had her response out the door within a couple of days. Unfortunately, that’s about the only good thing I can say about her letter which barely qualifies as a response. In fact I only got a responsive answer to one of my questions and it was not in the way I had required. In addition, the check I sent them very clearly specifies that its deposit was subject to the terms described in my “NOTICE OF DISCUSSION”. Here’s a scan of the memo section of my check as proof. Even though she did not provide the evidence and answers required to deposit the check, they deposited the check anyway. Here’s a scan of the letter she sent me, and here’s the text:

July 2,2008

Dear Mr. Bernard:

We are in receipt of your check number 150, dated June 30, 2008 in the amount of $2,651.21 issued by you in payment of the 2008 Preliminary Property Tax Bill for real estate located at XXXXXXXXX. Our records indicate that you are the owner of the property.

The City of Keene acts with statutory authority granted to it by the New Hampshire legislature. That authority includes the issuance of real property tax bills and the acceptance of payments. Accordingly, your payment will be deposited and credited against that tax obligation for the property.

Thank you for your payment.
Sincerely,
Mary Alther
Tax Collector

While my first notice I sent was addressed “to whom it may concern”, at this point, having identified the head bureaucrat, I address my next “NOTICE OF DISCUSSION” to Ms. Alther. I sent this response this morning via e-mail:

Hello Mary,

In the interests of saving time and postage, I thought we should continue our discussion via e-mail. Here is my response to your recent letter:

Dear Ms. Alther,

I do not know you, but from what I can tell from your involvement with hospice, you’re probably a very nice person. Therefore I am sorry that you have to deal with this matter. Let it be known that I as a
sovereign seek only harmony with others, I reserve all rights, and do not intend conflict with you or the “CITY OF KEENE”. It is to that end of harmony and peace that I must question the bills that your
agency (the “CITY OF KEENE”) is sending to people.

You recently wrote me, presumably in response to the original notarized letter I hand-delivered on June 30, 2008. Your letter mentions the term “payment” four times, yet I never once used it in my original notice. I would like to discharge this matter but in order to properly do that, I require certain evidence and information. I have not yet received the required evidence and you have yet to give responsive answers to the super majority of my questions.

It is my understanding that your government is founded in consent. If I’ve misunderstood this and you would like to claim that I am a subject of your government, please clarify. In fact, if you see that
I have misunderstood anything in this notice, please respond with clarification. Let it be known that as a sovereign I do not consent to be bound by your statutes and regulations. It is my understanding
however that you, Ms. Alther, have sworn to be bound by the rules of your government. So, by your own rules you have presented BERNARD IAN with what you are calling a “PROPERTY TAX BILL”. I responded with my original notice, cut a check for $2,651.21 in USD, and stipulated that you may deposit the check and discharge this matter in full when you provide to me the following:

· Evidence of the valid, original instrument with my signature binding BERNARD IAN and/or his agent(s) to the obligation to your “PROPERTY TAX”.

· Considering I can not find evidence on the “TAX BILL” showing you are demanding US Dollars (USD), define how one would properly satisfy your demand of “2,651.21”.

It is my understanding that by your own rules you must “exhibit the instrument” upon demand (my original notice should be considered a demand) in order to be able to receive payment. Otherwise, you and the “CITY OF KEENE” will be in dishonor and this matter will be discharged. As I specified in my original notice, you have until no later than August 15th, 2008 to provide the required evidence and
answers. At that point, on the principle of estoppel by acquiescence I shall assume that there is no contractual authority for your agency to make this demand and that BERNARD IAN and/or his agent is not obligated to any CITY OF KEENE “TAX BILL” until a meeting of the minds is reached, and a contract signed.

In my original notice I also asked several questions. While it appears from your letter that you did answer number six (now #5 below) responsively, you did not answer it in the enumerated way I required. Therefore I will rephrase my questions, and add a few more in response
to your letter.

Answer the following questions responsively. Keep your answers appropriately enumerated to the questions:

1. Factually, what are the “CITY OF KEENE” and the “STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE”?

2. Do the group of men and women calling themselves the “CITY OF KEENE” have “authority” over me, a sovereign? If so, what are the origins of and how did you as a member of that group, receive this “authority”?

3. Is your government a voluntary association of consenting individuals?

4. Do you believe you have the right to aggress against those peaceful sovereigns who do not consent to your government?

5. Who owns the property commonly known as XXXXXXXXXXXX?

6. You stated in your letter, “The City of Keene acts with statutory authority granted to it by the New Hampshire legislature.”
Factually, what is “statutory authority”? How did the people calling themselves the legislature get it to grant in the first place?

7. You also stated, “payment will be deposited and credited against that tax obligation for the property.”
Factually, how is it that an inanimate object can become obligated todo anything? How was this obligation created?

8. I noticed the check I sent has been deposited. Were you responsible for the decision to deposit my check during this as-of-yet unresolved discussion phase? If it is not you who is responsible, do
you know who is?

It is my understanding that your organization offers certain services, some of which I may be interested in contracting for, but we can discuss that after this initial discussion is resolved.

Note that any correspondence is subject to being posted on the blog at FreeKeene.com

I look forward to your response,
Ian Bernard
39 Central Sq. #313
Keene, NH 03431
ian at freekeene.com

Will the bureaucrats answer simple questions about the nature of their “bills” and organization or will they continue to stonewall and obscure? Is this a government by the consent of the governed or is it an organized gang of men and women ruling by threat of violence? Stay tuned to FreeKeene.com for the latest! Also, join the discussion over on the Forum!

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36 Comments

  1. I'm very curious to see the next response and to see where this goes. Excellent questions, Ian.

  2. Excellent work, I'm certainly going to keep following up on this.

  3. I love it! You guys and gals in NH are doing great things. I am going to look into joining the Free state project.

  4. Why do they need to respond? He already paid them! You shouldn't have sent the check. Now what? Are you going to try to sue them for the money back?

  5. I understand why but the language used will likely go right over her head.

  6. Jeremy, I had to send the check at the behest of my lady. She's scared they'll steal our home.

  7. Whatever it is you're doing, please keep it up 🙂

  8. THIS is the type of activism I LOVE and the reason I'm moving to NH in a few weeks for the 1st 1000. Keep up the great work!

    Unfortunately, I have to agree with Julia in that you must pay for now. The day will come soon enough when that will not be true. A wise man once said to follow the world laws (as long as they do not require you to commit violence) so that the people will be receptive to your message. If people perceive you as an outlaw the message of freedom will fall on deaf ears.

    Of course there have been cases of successfully influencing the populace through civil disobedience, but it seems to me that only works when the thinking is really starting to turn that way in the first place.

  9. Yea, they would steal your home. But with the memo you added to the check, are you going to try to sue them for not meeting the terms of cashing the check?

  10. While you're at it, ask them if they are planning to lower the next bill as your property value has no doubt declined.

  11. No, asking them to lower the amount of the bill is basically an acknowledgement of the validity of the bill. To me, it doesn't matter what they are 'asking' for because what they ahould be getting is NOTHING! Keep us posted, Ian. The free state project definitely has my attention.

  12. I thought that he should write on a piece of paper the numbers 2,651.21 and adding "This shall fufill the requirements of the notice '2008 PRELIMINARY PROPERTY TAX BILL' for 'PROPERTY ID XXXXXX'" and sign it and mail it in to them.

  13. A few days ago, I would agree with your reasoning, but what if your voluntary residence in Keene constituted a social contract?

    Here is a quote from an interesting critique of libertarianism:

    <blockquote cite="http://world.std.com/~mhuben/faq.html#contract"&gt;

    There are several explicit means by which people make the social contract with government. The commonest is when your parents choose your residency and/or citizenship after your birth. In that case, your parents or guardians are contracting for you, exercising their power of custody. No further explicit action is required on your part to continue the agreement, and you may end it at any time by departing and renouncing your citizenship.

  14. I would hand deliver your email response in a written fashion, as you did the initial response to the bill. It's really easy to say "Sorry. I didn't receive that email."

  15. Good point but I have a recording of her admitting she received the email. I'd post it, but it's not that interesting.

  16. I would still hand deliver a notarized copy 😉

  17. @ Patrick Shields

    The notion of the "social contract" still presumes that a government is validly formed among the consent of its governed. Since at any point in time, this can be demonstrated as false (only about 1/3 of the population were really supportive of the revolution), the basis on which the social contract rests is fraudulent. Government is always installed by force, after which point people are arguably "free to leave" if they don't like it.

    That's not voluntary, and it's not a contract

  18. Ian, all of the property taxes are paid in the rears. That means you are paying for last years taxes due. Which you never disputed. Your "account" is always behind, that way the "taxing" authority always has the better claim. I might suggest getting your "account" current; and protest the Property Valuation when it arrives and reclassify your property as "private" and watch the sparks fly. All property in this country has been classified as "agricultural", "commercial" or "residential" which is another commercial term. Good Luck!

  19. Louis, can you email me with more detail at ian (at) freekeene.com?

  20. Louis –

    taxes are generally paid in "arrears", not the rear. Although, that's how we're taking it…

  21. Patrick,

    What is a social contract? The word contract is easy to understand, it is an agreement. Common Law holds a contract requires certain terms and conditions must be met before a contract can be considered valid. These are offer and acceptance (agreement), consideration, an intention to create legal relations, capacity and Formalities. Without these five conditions no contract is valid.

    Does your so-called social contract meet this criteria? Let us test it. Was there an offer of a contract and acceptance? If Ian is to be believed, no there was no offer and he did not accept it. Was there consideration? One can not consider anything not offered, hence no. An intention to create legal relations? I'm sure that if I were offered a contract that stated that I agree to pay whatever amount demanded upon me or lose my property, I would never intentionally create a legal relationship. Formalities, since Ian never met any of the parties, discussed with them any terms, received no offers, accepted none(presumably), considered no terms, and intentionally entered into any agreement with anyone in particular, either fiction or non-fiction, there is no contract.

  22. Right, the social contract is not a standard contract–it's similar in name only.

    Under a theory first articulated by Plato in his Socratic dialog Crito, members within a society implicitly agree to the terms of the social contract by their choice to stay within the society.

    We live in a democracy, and under that democracy our freedoms are less than they would be if we lived in a libertarian society. However, any resistance on our part will be met with force by the majority–something we can't win against.

    I agree that libertarianism is the best political system, but when it comes to things like tax evasion, I don't think it's wise to refuse, because the majority has force on its side.

    I guess the concept of what Ian is doing seems logically fallacious somehow. It can bring attention to libertarianism, but ultimately the federal government will not tolerate resistance (I know in this case it was just Keene property taxes). I think the best way to fight the system is to fight within the system (accepting the social contract) or moving out of the country. When the govt. shows up to put a resister in jail, complaining "I didn't accept the social contract!" is not going to help.

  23. I just now received an email for David Z's comment. It is weird that it took so many days to be informed through email.

    David, I have, since posting, seen the light. I read the New Libertarian Manifesto and the only qualm I now have is this: the American government has the power to do what it wants with resistors. And the government, ultimately, does not follow libertarian morality.

    I'm all for asking questions and disobeying when we can get away with it, but I think putting one's life on the line is excessive when our current system is livable. Better to pay the group called government "protection money" if you can't defend yourself against them!

  24. Regarding the social contract theory of law:

    Point 1: If we have to leave the lands that we own, or lands that no one owns, because of rules that other people have made, then we are not free. If this is truly the land of the free, with all of the people being independent sovereigns with unalienable rights, then the social contract theory of law cannot exist here. Freedom and the social contract cannot coexist.

    Point 2: If we have to obey rules that other people have made without our consent, then those rules are being forced upon us. That is called "tyranny".

    Regarding democracy:

    We live in a democracy? Well, perhaps if you live in the District of Columbia. Most of us live in constitutional republics. (A "constitutional republic" is where we have representatives that we require to swear an oath of office to obey a set of limitations called a constitution.) For evidence, please refer to the Pledge of Allegiance. For those who are interested, I shall explain where this "we are a Democracy" stuff is coming from:

    1. Each state is an independent constitutional republic with its own constitution and representatives.

    2. A central federal Democracy was created to assist the separate states with the organization of defense and inter-state dispute moderation.

    3. It is this central federal Democracy that they are referring to, while totalling ignoring the fact that 99% of the people don't live in one. Actually, I think they'd rather that you forgot that you did.

    Do we want to "fight for Democracy"? Democracy is a system where the minority's rights are not protected, and where the majority always wins. For this very reason, democracy is called "mob rule". A quote about democracy:

    "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship."

    What Ian is doing is not logically fallacious (with the exception of giving them the check at the same time as the conditional acceptance, but I suspect that he realizes this now). He is exercising his sovereign power to question anyone's assumption that they have authority or jurisdiction over him. If evidence can be brought forward to prove their claim, then let it be. But if they can't, then none exists. If none exists, then we certainly shouldn't be doing anything they ask us to do!

    The same methods of Notices and Demands that the government uses can be used against them. When they remain silent, they default and their silence is their consent. The use of notorial protest can be used to obtain default judgments against anyone, including our government servants.

    Yes, they've been misleading us in their government schools, on TV, in the newspapers, and on the radio for so long that we have begun to believe their lies that "the government is all powerful, and no one is allowed to question them–we must do as they ask blindly". The truth that our forefathers knew is fading into obscurity as fast as they can possibly help it along. For as soon as we do not know our unalienable rights, as soon as we do not know that we are free, sovereign individuals, then we can be easily enslaved. I will tell you how they are doing it.

    What is the truth that they hope we will never learn? Here's another maxim of law that will help you understand this: "the created cannot control the creator". Witness the undisputable chain of power:

    Creator–>Man–>Government

    (Note in the below that I use "man" and "he" in the place of "wo/man" and "s/he". I do not intend to mean that women do not have equal sovereignty.)

    1. The creator created mankind and endowed them with unalienable rights.

    2. All men are equal before the law (another maxim of law). Each man is a sovereign and is completely free. No man has jurisdiction over any other man. (Jurisdiction means "spoken oath", therefore where there is no oath spoken, there is no jurisdiction. Also note that a signature is evidence of an oath, therefore contracts create jurisdiction.) Each man can do anything that he wishes, as long as he doesn't harm another man or another man's property.

    3. Mankind can create laws to govern their creations, but these laws do not apply to the other free sovereign men. In order to create laws that apply to other free men, a contract must be created. Both men agree to something in the contract, and that contract becomes the law for those men. That contract does not apply to any other free men until they agree to it also.

    4. Some men create governments. They sign their names on contracts to agree on the government’s limitations and duties. They give the government permission to act on their behalf to do various things. The people who run for government provide their consent to the government by swearing an oath of office. The government officials are elected into office by the voters, who provide their consent by registering to vote and participating in the act of voting. The remainder of the free people that do not participate in signing any government contracts, or voting, or running for office, or having anything to do with this creation of other men, are not governed by that creation. No social contract nonsense.

    5. Some men are not aware of their freedom, and fall prey to the trickery of men with bad intentions. The men with bad intentions have worked for a long time to carefully create an illusion that all men are bound by their rules without needing their consent, and that everyone must sign their contracts whenever they want them to. These men would prefer that the people learn nothing about contract law at all! They trick the ignorant men into signing contracts such as "social security", "voter registration", "military draft registration", and a whole assortment of government IDs, permits, licenses, and registrations. These contracts contain wording that gives the government jurisdiction over the free men, turning the free sovereign man into a government subject. Unfortunately, the parent tend to be the unwitting co-conspirators, telling us when we were young that we had no choice but to sign these horrible things.

    6. Some men (like Ian and many others), after waking up and realizing what they have done, decide that want to be free again. They begin rescinding their signatures on their government contracts. They sent letters to their elected officials with proof of service to notify them that they have revoked their consent to be governed. The government dislikes this, and will tend to ignore them, hoping they do not understand how to use this silence against them.

  25. Keep up the good work Ian. I wish you luck.

  26. Sovereign1, your argument is full of holes.

    1) Degrees of freedom can exist. Freedom is not either present or non-existent.

    2) You are imposing your view of "freedom" on our current political system. The social contract IS a part of our political system. If you don't like that, you're entitled to ignore it–but you'll face the consequences when you don't pay your taxes or get caught smoking or breaking any of the other laws that conflict with your view of freedom.

  27. "I just now received an email for David Z’s comment. It is weird that it took so many days to be informed through email." – Patrick

    David's comment was stuck in a spam filter for several days for whatever reason. I just recently saw it there and released it.

  28. Patrick Shields,

    Thank your for rebutting my essay. Perhaps you are currently writing the essay that provides the detailed explanations that you didn't provide in your rebuttal? Well anyway, here is what I would appreciate if you could include in it:

    Please explain what holes are in my argument.

    1. Please explain what the degrees of freedom are.

    2a. Is declaring the truth considered imposing? I propose that it would only be imposing on those who are enemies of the truth. Please explain what isn't true about what I said.

    2b. Please explain how the social contract is part of our system of law. It would be great if you could provide references to it from the founding fathers' writings.

    You are basically saying that everyone must obey all laws because of some imaginary social contract. Very well, please provide the original "social" contract that I signed. Or two uninterested witnesses that will provide testimony that I agreed to it verbally.

  29. Mrs. Alther is indeed a nice lady to respond to this nonsense.

    She answered your questions, but if you want more specifics:

    NH constitution:

    Part First

    [Art.] 3. [Society, its Organization and Purposes.] When men enter into a state of society, they surrender up some of their natural rights to that society, in order to ensure the protection of others; and, without such an equivalent, the surrender is void.

    June 2, 1784

    Part Second

    Article 1. [Name of Body Politic.] The people inhabiting the territory formerly called the province of New Hampshire, do hereby solemnly and mutually agree with each other, to form themselves into a free, sovereign and independent body-politic, or state, by the name of the State of New Hampshire.

    June 2, 1784

    GENERAL COURT

    [Art.] 2. [Legislature, How Constituted.] The supreme legislative power, within this state, shall be vested in the senate and house of representatives, each of which shall have a negative on the other.

    June 2, 1784

    [Art.] 5. [Power to Make Laws, Elect Officers, Define Their Powers and Duties, Impose Fines and Assess Taxes; Prohibited from Authorizing Towns to Aid Certain Corporations.] And farther, full power and authority are hereby given and granted to the said general court, from time to time, to make, ordain, and establish, all manner of wholesome and reasonable orders, laws, statutes, ordinances, directions, and instructions, either with penalties, or without, so as the same be not repugnant or contrary to this constitution, as they may judge for the benefit and welfare of this state, and for the governing and ordering thereof, and of the subjects of the same, for the necessary support and defense of the government thereof, and to name and settle biennially, or provide by fixed laws for the naming and settling, all civil officers within this state, such officers excepted, the election and appointment of whom are hereafter in this form of government otherwise provided for; and to set forth the several duties, powers, and limits, of the several civil and military officers of this state, and the forms of such oaths or affirmations as shall be respectively administered unto them, for the execution of their several offices and places, so as the same be not repugnant or contrary to this constitution; and also to impose fines, mulcts, imprisonments, and other punishments, and to impose and levy proportional and reasonable assessments, rates, and taxes, upon all the inhabitants of, and residents within, the said state; and upon all estates within the same; to be issued and disposed of by warrant, under the hand of the governor of this state for the time being, with the advice and consent of the council, for the public service, in the necessary defense and support of the government of this state, and the protection and preservation of the subjects thereof, according to such acts as are, or shall be, in force within the same; provided that the general court shall not authorize any town to loan or give its money or credit directly or indirectly for the benefit of any corporation having for its object a dividend of profits or in any way aid the same by taking its stocks or bonds. For the purpose of encouraging conservation of the forest resources of the state, the general court may provide for special assessments, rates and taxes on growing wood and timber.

    June 2, 1784

    Amended 1792 changing "president" to "governor."

    Amended 1877 changing "annually" to "biennially." Also amended to prohibit towns and cities from loaning money or credit to corporations.

    Amended 1942 to permit a timber tax.

    RSA 72:6 Real Estate. – All real estate, whether improved or unimproved, shall be taxed except as otherwise provided.

    RSA 47:1 In General. – All the powers vested by law in towns, or in the inhabitants thereof, shall be exercised by the city councils by concurrent vote, each board having a negative on the other.

    RSA 47:14 Appointive Officers. – They shall appoint a city marshal, and one or more assistant marshals if they think it necessary, a collector of taxes, constables, police officers and watchmen, and may remove them from office for sufficient cause; and may require the marshal and constables, before entering on their duties, to give bonds, with sufficient sureties to any reasonable amount, upon which like proceedings and remedies may be had as in case of bonds required to be given by constables of towns.

    Keene City Charter:

    SECTION 1. INCORPORATION. The inhabitants of the City of Keene shall continue to be a body politic and corporate under the name of the "City of Keene," hereinafter sometimes referred to as "the City," and as such to enjoy all the rights, immunities, powers, and privileges and be subject to all the duties and liabilities now appertaining to or incumbent upon them as a municipal corporation. All existing property of the City shall remain vested in it, and all its existing debts and obligations shall remain obligatory upon it, under this revised Charter.

    SECTION 52. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Charter was effective January 2, 1970 with a complete charter revision. Sections 2, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 16, 19, 21, 25, 28, 29 and 49 were amended November 6, 1973, by Charter Commission and Referendum. Sections 3, 5, 7, 8, 9 12, 13, 15, 19, 20, 21, 23, 26, 28, 33, 35, 36 (b&c), 38, 39, 40, 41, and 53 were amended November 7, 1978, by Charter Commission and Referendum. Sections 2, 3, 7, 14, and 18 were amended November 2, 1981, by Referendum. The 1983 Municipal Election will be from revised wards as established by the 1981 Municipal Election. The revised wards will be in effect January 1, 1984. Section 2 was amended November 5, 1991, by referendum. The revised wards will be in effect January 1, 1992. Section 2 was amended November 6, 2001, by referendum. The revised wards shall take affect June 1, 2002. When this Charter amendment takes affect the incumbents of all elected offices shall continue to hold the same until the expiration of their respective terms. Sections 16, 25 and 45 were amended November 2, 2004, by referendum.

  30. I was recently passing through the city and decided to stop into the city hall building to ask some questions about property taxes. When I stated that one of my questions was specifically concerning the authority of tax collection, I was told that I would have to speak to the tax collector who was conveniently on vacation for the next two weeks. I then asked if the two weeks was including that day or after that day. The answer was then revised to say that she would be in on one particular day in the morning but then leaving, etc. After wasting some time with this, I was told that I could also go upstairs for more information. Apparently a very quick call to upstairs was made, because I got there, they were waiting for me. I don't know how many others have been in there asking similar questions, but they almost seemed amused by it.

  31. The problem is that Ian and others can't articulate a reasonable alternative to the social contract theory with poly-centric law theory that makes any sense to anyone.

    Where is the alternative?

  32. Ian, In the late 1980’s I sent a certified letter asking the Los Angeles County Tax Collector the same question. 2,651. . . what? Ounces, pounds, gallons, WHAT? I never did get a response. Until new information becomes available I have come to the following position. First, there are 4 dollar signs that we know of. The first DOLLAR SIGN is an S with a U superimposed over it. This first dollar sign was defined in the coinage act of 1792 as a silver coin of a specified weight and purity and patterned after the Spanish Milled Dollar that was at that time used and accepted by merchants around the globe. [you can goggle the coinage act]. The SECOND DOLLAR SIGN is an S with two vertical lines superimposed over it. Our best guess is that this sign is legally defined as a paper Silver Certificate that could be used to claim the US silver dollar defined in the Coinage Act. The THIRD DOLLAR SIGN is and S with one vertical line superimposed over it [$] and is the most commonly seen dollar sign. Our best guess is that the legal definition of this dollar sign is that it represents a Federal Reserve Note [an IOU obligation of the federal government backed by the future labor of the American people. THE FOURTH DOLLAR SIGN is an S with a short line sticking out of the top of the S and a short line sticking out of the bottom of the S. I occasionally see this sign used in stock and mutual fund Prospectus’. NOW HERE IS THE INTERESTING PART. Article 1 Section 10 of the Constitution, [which is still binding on the States] prohibits the States from using anything “but gold or silver coin a tender in payment of debt”. A county, which is a subdivision of the State is also bound by this restriction. So the county is in a legal pickle, if they bill you for PROPERTY TAXES using the FIRST OR SECOND DOLLAR SIGN, no one could pay the bill because there are none of those “dollars” in circulation. And if the county billed you using the THIRD OR FOURTH DOLLAR SIGN they [the state and county] would be in violation of Article 1 Section 10. It appears that for the past 80 to 100 years the County has side stepped the problem by sending out property tax bills with numbers only, [no unit such as dollars, cents, pounds, bushels] and waited too see what the mind numbed sheep would send them. An Interesting foot note, The County of Los Angeles began using the THIRD DOLLAR SIGN in the year 2000, An I notice that the county of Riverside California is using the FOURTH DOLLAR SIGN. My letters to the U. S. Treasurer and the House Banking Committee have also gone unanswered. I’d be interested in comments from other states and counties. My Email address is deercreek@usa.com signed DSH

  33. I think that property taxes are unethical. How does the state have the right to tax you for something that you own. That's like saying, "hmmm. We as a state need to find a way to get more money flowing through for our frivilous spending habits. Let's see, that guy over there owns an ipod, we can charge him taxes for owning it." Sure, an ipod is alot different than a property but the principle are still the same. Oh, to the guy who knows it all and tried to slam the one who wrote this blog, every site has one of you, the ones who seem to enjoy taking from behind when it comes to the government, the ones who think "oh the gov can't do no wrong. They have legitimate reason for everything". I do not understand that self destructive way of thinking. You seem to want to be subject to everything.

  34. We Do Not Live in Democracy we live in a republic .. In a Democracy the Mob Rules, were in a republic the minority wins over the Majority. Example: We are going to Vote on if we should Take your House.. You can vote to.. Anyone want to vote if we take this Guys House? This is a Democracy In a republic (small r) This is your house and your rights come first.

  35. Hoodamanow,

    In a republic an elected mob rules. That's the only difference.

  36. After the Revolution we where given Allotial titles to the land. WE the People created Congress we give them privileges not the other way around. Abraham Lincoln we the people are the rightful masters of Congress and the Courts. Bill of Rights is only thing that matters, The Constitution should support the Bill.

    we own the House not the Land. You' re paying rent on the Land. We were tricked into Contracting with and being Co – owners with the state of everything we own first when your Parents Married they signed a Application which gave the Government rights to a portion of everything that came from that Marriage, I read you married so you also signed a contract Giving the Government a Portion to all that comes from your Marriage….

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