jewish_scientist wrote:I am pretty sure that the home owners were paying a lot in taxes. The problem was that there was this one $30 annual tax that they did not know about.
I'm sure they were paying a lot in total but in relation to the value of the property they were probably paying a lot less than other less well off individuals. Lower rates for governmental units with higher property values is simply a mathematical fact of how most property taxes systems work out.
Chen wrote:From what I read it's not even that the association just switched accountants, but that the accountant that the tax slips were going to had DIED. You'd think after a couple of mail returns or the like the city would send the the tax slips to SOMEONE else. In fact I'm pretty sure that's the argument the people used to win the court case. We're not taking a single letter. Here. They sent 30 years worth of letters to someone who died (granted I don't know at what point in the 30 years they did). To my understanding the thing was in fact SOLD and even after that they weren't notified until someone asked them the buy it back. Unlike a car or some other asset to be repossessed this is real estate. You KNOW where the people are.
So what if the accountant died? You expect them to search all death records from every state and cross reference it with all of their delinquent taxes to make sure the person they are sending notices to has not died then somehow determine the correct address? The law very clearly states that they have a responsibility to notify "the last known mailing address". If that was legally the last known mailing address, which unless there some odd definition in California it was, the local government did its job. A judge may find that they did not make a "reasonable effort to obtain the name and last known mailing address of parties of interest" but I am very skeptical that an accurate assessment of what is actually a reasonable effort given the information they have available to them would actually come to this conclusion.
They know where what people are? The neighborhood that provided an address to contact them via? A property with whatever owner name the neighborhood association was operating under 30+ years ago. The info which has almost certainly seen at least 2 migrations into new systems. It is almost certainly no associated with all the houses. Of course no one was notified even after it was sold. If they knew enough to notify them after they sold, they would have notified them before it. It is typically the buyers responsibility to take care of any issues they need to in order to take ownership including notifying the people controlling access through a gate. it may seems trivial to sort this out when you look at a single instance but I can tell you with absolute certainty that at the scale they were dealing with, this is not trivial because I have seen how much work it is at much smaller scales.
morriswalters wrote:This was caused by the disconnect in a HOA, where no one person was watching the boat. It is uproariously funny. It has nothing to do with inequality.
This isn't really true. They had a new accountant that was one person watching the boat. The accountant absolutely should have known that the property was supposed to be paying taxes and absolutely should have known that it was not. Honestly, unless the neighborhood signed a stupidly unfavorable contract, there is a pretty good case the accountant is liable for this.
Chen wrote:The people who bought the street qualified their "middle-class" status by saying "for San Francisco". This is one rich person attempting to exploit a bunch of other richer people.
I think the people that bought this are outright lying about their motivations and were jerks about the entire thing. They knew exactly what they were doing and I don't have much sympathy for them if this blows up in their faces. I think they have a pretty strong case though and given the rich and powerful nature of the neighborhood, I am skeptical that they are going to be given fair treatment by the legal system. Even jerks deserve fair legal treatment.