Thursday, March 19, 2009

Delaware Rep. Gerald Brady : Tightening the Government Dragnet

It looks like the best legislative idea 4th District Rep. Gerald Brady (D) can come up with to improve Delaware is a bill to unleash government property seizures beyond just for taxes, water, and sewer to ANY fine, charge, assessment or other government levy that can be connected to a property.

House Bill 26 :

"Authorizes any county or municipality to treat unpaid liens as a tax lien against the property subject to the lien and to collect such liens in the same manner as other tax liens, including proceedings pursuant to a writ of monition."

The legislation adds the words "and all other liens enumerated in Chapter 29 of Title 25 of this Code" to the list of grounds for undertaking property seizure and sale to recover said liens.

Title 25 § 2901 includes :

e. Service charges for garbage collection;

f. Charges for the costs of razing or demolition of buildings done through public expenditure;

g. Charges for duly authorized improvements or maintenance to the exteriors of buildings or property done through public expenditure;

h. Assessments for the installation of sewer lines, water mains, sidewalks and curbing, including penalty and interest thereon;

i. Fines imposed by any court and/or civil penalties imposed by the City of Wilmington or any department of the City of Wilmington, for local building, housing, sanitation, or animal code citations or violations. The unpaid amounts of such fines and/or civil penalties may be added to local property tax billings for the property which was the subject of said citation or violation when authorized by local ordinance. "Fines" as used in this section shall also include any civil judgment awarded to the State or any political subdivision thereof entered pursuant to § 4101 of Title 11;

j. Fees imposed by law or ordinance of any political subdivision of the State, which shall include, without limitation, municipal corporations, for registration of ownership of any vacant buildings located within the political subdivision, the imposition of which fees is final and non-appealable; and

k. Charges for the costs of removing weeds, grasses, refuse, rubbish, trash or other waste material done through public expenditure.


In other words, if you have for example an unpaid "instant fine" on your property, the City of Wilmington or New Castle County or any municipality can have the sheriff sell your home or property to force payment.

This bill is twisted out-of-control government authoritarianism that opens the door to total property grabs not just for taxes and water/sewer delinquency but for any willy-nilly revenue scheme a municipality or county can cook up to enforce against property owners.

Of course, we all know these schemes never foster abuse, arbitrary enforcement, and capricious denials of due process, right?


What's next, unpaid city wage taxes as grounds for confiscating your home?

Wilmington government stooge Gerry Brady is unsurprisingly joined by the dismal 33-year incumbent Senator Harris McDowell (D) as a co-sponsor. It is quite nauseating that these two happen to be my Senator and State Representative.

If anyone should wonder why I ever bothered to challenge these two dangerous dolts at the ballot box, despite a 2-1 party disadvantage, such garbage as this bill is but another example. Pro-government / anti-citizen lawmaking is the hallmark of this pair.

Very disappointingly, Brady is joined by Republicans Greg Lavelle, Nick Manolakos, and Joe Miro. What in the hell are you fellas thinking?

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR TO OPPOSE THIS BILL WHICH ONLY SERVES TO TIGHTEN THE NOOSE OF SMARMY LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVENUE-SCHEMING AND GOTCHA ENFORCEMENT TACTICS AROUND THE NECKS OF DELAWARE PROPERTY OWNERS.

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