I recently moved to a new town and I found out that some of the residents through favoritism or being connected are paying no property taxes.

For example, in one case there is a property worth about $3 million which if it were assessed at that should be paying about $30,000 per year in property taxes, but is actually paying only about $800 per year--more or less free.

Obviously this is extremely unfair that I and most other residents of the town pay full taxes on our property and a few connected people do not have to pay any taxes.

Politically, is there anything I can do about this?

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    Based on you saying if there’s anything you can do about it politically, I assume you aren’t interested in filing a lawsuit or refusing to pay? – Andrew Grimm Feb 19 '19 at 3:17
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    In California, Proposition 13 limits how much the government can raise the assessed value of your property each year. Could some mechanism like that be at play? – jeffronicus Feb 19 '19 at 3:43
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    Please explain how you determined that the property is worth 3 million and what the assessed valuation actually is. Why would you want to do anything about it politically? Why would you not seek a legal (law) solution? I'm not sure this is a Politics question vs Personal finance – BobE Feb 19 '19 at 4:07
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    @BobE Well, it seems like a political or administrative problem to me. I know what property values are in the town, I spent the last year looking at a lot of houses. However, what does it really matter whether it is worth $3 million or $2 million? If the assessed value is $5300, it is ridiculously below any fair assessment. What exact quibble are you trying to make? Oh its ok for him not to pay taxes because his property is worth only $2 million instead of $3 million? What is your point? – Tyler Durden Feb 19 '19 at 4:38
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    Questions of "what can I do" are rarely a good fit for this site. Really the only things you can do are "vote, sue, protest or move" We aren't lawyers so can't give much advice about suing. We can't tell you how to protest (too broad), you probably don't want to move. And being told "vote" isn't really much of an answer. – James K Feb 19 '19 at 8:50

If something illegal is happening, through connections, this could qualify as organized crime. The FBI may be interested.

If the tax law is being interpreted in a discriminatory matter, that could be a civil rights issue. Look for a reputable NGO.

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Politically you can vote for officials you believe to be "fair" and honest. Politically, you could run for tax assessor or county commissioner.

Otherwise, you could call the County tax assessors office (or better yet, go there in person) and ask for an explanation and for documents that support the explanation.

If you feel you are not given a fair and honest answer that satisfies you, then you could take legal action against the board and or county that assessed the "unfair" taxes.

But do your due diligence first. Perhaps the person (or their family) has donated large sums of money to the county in the past in exchange for lower property taxes in the future..., or some other "legal" arrangement has been made.

I'm sure that if there's a startling impropriety, someone else has seen it and it should have drawn attention.

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