Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Guess What's Going On!

What do you want to talk about today? Property values? Public corruption? Taxes again? Sounds a little dull....
I know! Let's play a game! It's called,
"Guess What's Going On."

Round 1.

Here are your clues:

Steve Bye owned 38 acres in Bradbury Township. Even though he didn't live on the land, (or even in the same township) and there were no buildings on the property, (not even a dog house), Steve was able to claim the 38 acres as Homesteaded on his property taxes. What he paid in property taxes for that land didn't amount to a hill of beans. Only a load or two of gravel. Nobody paid much attention.

About seven years ago, Steve sold the property to his sister Avis and her husband Marvin Grosslein. They live in Massachusetts. When you sell your homesteaded property in Mille Lacs County, you have thirty days to report the sale to the county assessor. There was no report of this sale, therefore no change in the property's status. However, the Grossleins are indeed acknowledged as the owners of the property in the public records. Steve is listed as the taxpayer for the land.

Oddly enough, the Grossleins claim to share the same address as Steve. As if they actually live with him in Onamia. They don't. They have lived in Massachusetts for a long, long time. In fact, they claim Homestead in Massachusetts. They also claim Homestead in Minnesota. Legally, you can only claim ONE, not both. (You can't be in more than one place at the same time.) Non-homestead taxes amount to more than a couple of loads of gravel. Even more than a hill of beans. A lot more.

An error? An oversight?

Avis Grosslein told me herself, "My brother may not have gone to college, but he knows what he's doing." Maybe he does.

Now it's up to you to:

Guess What's Going On!


Round 2.

Here are your clues:

a. The City of Onamia has entered into a contract to puchase the Bye/Grosslein property for $150,000, three times the estimated market value. The mayor's signature is on the purchase agreement. He was authorized by the city council to pay Steve Bye $1,000 in earnest money. The mayor paid Steve $5,000.

b. The mayor has many buddies. One of them was the only one to bid on 8 acres of city property which was for sale under the stipulation that he build on it within two years. He purchased the 8 acres for about $2,000. That's around $250 per acre. (Steve Bye got approximately $3,900 per acre for his...) Three extra lots were thrown into the deal. Although the mayor's friend never built on the property, and although the two years weren't up yet, and although the land should have reverted back to the city, and although the matter had been brought up and tabled at a city council meeting never to reappear again - the mayor's friend sold the land for around $75,000 less than two years after he paid only $2,000 for it. Yes, from $250 per acre to over $9,000 per acre in less than two years.

c. Another one of the mayor's buddies wanted to sell his land to a guy who wanted to build a new supper club. This property adjoins the Crosier property where the new Nexus facility was slated to be built (before D'Angelo decided there was too much traffic noise in that location and abruptly chose the Grosslein property instead.) That's convenient for the mayor's bud because the new supper club will need a liquor license. This wouldn't normally be a problem - because the city (the mayor) controls liquor licensing in the city limits. One hitch though... The law prohibits having a liquor license within 1000 feet of a correctional institution. No problem. An easy way to circumvent this law might be to move the correctional institution into a residential neighborhood in another township instead, thus allowing your friend to sell his land to the supper club guy who no longer has to worry about getting his liquor license.

d. Yesterday I heard that there's been a brand new black SUV parked at the mayor's house. I wonder if its his...

Guess What's Going On!


Round 3.

Here are your clues:

One sex offender in the neighborhood can drop property values up to 17% and make the property nearly impossible to sell because most people don't want to live near a sex offender. The city of Onamia has cursed us with 94 or more sex offenders. We have no figures to estimate the loss in our property values, but we might assume that if one sex offender is bad, 94 might be 94 times as bad.... But we'll use the 17% figure.

If your property was worth $300,000 before the sex offenders, it will drop to $249,000, a loss of $51,000.

If your property was worth $400,000 before the sex offenders, it will drop to $332,000, a loss of $68,000.

If your property was worth $500,000 before the sex offenders, it will drop to $415,000, a loss of $85,000.

But who would want to buy property next to 94 sex offenders?

One of the mayor's buddies has been looking for a place to build a trailer park. He and the mayor have been spotted driving around our neighborhood, even pulling into people's private driveways and into their yards to take a look around.

Why would they do that?

Guess What's Going On!

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