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In this article or here the author says that there is truly a legal way to stop paying the property tax for your house.

These steps are legal, and you can use them to accomplish the goal to stop paying property taxes. [...]

You will need to get a certified copy of the original land grant / land release for your property. [...] In 95% of cases, the land grants will say that the land is released from all interests, taxation, and control of the state to all owners, heirs, or assignees forever. [...]

Since you are an assignee of the land, take a certified copy of the land grant or land release to a county court. [...] Here your lawyer will have to explain to a judge how the state has released all interest, taxation, and control over the land you reside on forever. You will also have to explain that since the state had no right to the property when the municipal corporation (the city) was formed, that the municipal corporation had no right to your land either. [...] Since the judge will have no place for argument as you are an assignee to the land, you will most likely get a judgment in your favor ordering your local appraisal district to remove your home from their roll call.

If it is as easy as he claims, why doesn't everyone do it?

I'm worried that it is not as easy as it sounds and there might be some catch. I can't believe that even relatively difficult steps as pointed in the article would discourage people from getting all the things done in order to stop paying. It is quite a lot of money, worth the effort.

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    This seems like it would be better on Law. – iamnotmaynard Nov 1 '16 at 19:30
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    This sounds a lot like "sovereign citizen" claptrap. Those guys routinely throw together legal mumbo-jumbo and wishful thinking to come up with stuff like this. – Ernest Friedman-Hill Nov 2 '16 at 3:45
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    Yes, the thing to know about sovereign citizen nonsense is that literally everyone who has ever tried it has failed, usually ending up in jail. It has absolutely never worked for anyone. – Daniel Roseman Nov 2 '16 at 11:49
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    @Grasper There's a long list of such failings here. I do remember a few cases where the government lost due to odd procedural wrinkles such as failing to provide proper notice. It is, however, quite well established that real property ownership in the United States is fee simple and that only the government holds allodial title. – David Schwartz Nov 3 '16 at 16:48
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    @Grasper Re the failure of this kind of pseudo-legal claim, see Meads v. Meads, 2012 ABQB 571 (CanLII), par. 673: "You cannot identify one instance where a court has rolled over and behaved as told. Not one. Your spells, when cast, fail." (Associate Chief Justice J.D. Rooke). That decision provides a very clear and readable explanation and is well worth reading. See also skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/31455/… and skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/opca – A E Nov 23 '16 at 19:08
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This question might be too board to answer as-is as tax codes differ state to state and tax law is extremely complex. Here are some points of thought about the claim.

Pulling up the original land grant/patent the property my parents own, you can plainly see that "released from all interests, taxation, and control of the state to all owners, heirs, or assignees forever" language is not present. This does not mean it doesn't exist but keep in mind that legal jargon does get copied around a bit in my experience, building upon past examples.

PDF of Land Patent from the Federal Government of Louisiana Purchase

Look for more here (I check a handful couldn't find that phrasing): http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/default.aspx

The closest phrasing is, "together with all the rights and privileges, immunities and appurtenances of whatsoever nature... name ... and to his heirs and assigns forever." Note that is does not simply say rights but in-fact include privileges that the state or federal government may bestow to the holder of the deed or title. This implies that an owner may not have carte blanche rights over their land. They have the rights bestowed by the government, which might not be the philosophical 'all-rights possible'.

The frequency of the exact phrasing of the land patent really isn't going to be what wins or breaks the case of property tax responsibility. There are some other problems with the claim that seem more damning.

Missouri real property tax code about what is to be taxed is very simple:

137.075. Every person owning or holding real property or tangible personal property on the first day of January, including all such property purchased on that day, shall be liable for taxes thereon during the same calendar year.

There are no provisions or exceptions.

A major point from my Urban Planning Law 101. It is not uncommon that in some areas of the US, that there are land covenants, I believe that they are extremely common in Texas. These covenants can go back to the beginning when the land was patented. So, unsurprisingly there are many things in covenants that are completely illegal today; usually these are in the form of racial restrictions on ownership. Of course today, these are not followed, there is a law saying this covenant is null and void. Covenants are not laws in of themselves, Texas cannot enforce the covenant just because it was there before the state of Texas outlawed racial discrimination.

Looking to a land patent, with the phrase "released from all interests, taxation, and control of the state to all owners, heirs, or assignees forever". Logically, the same could be held true here. This clause may have been true at the time of the document's draft but since then overturned by the state legislature passing new laws. Land patents are not laws and are subject to current laws, if they conflict with the law that clause probably will struck.

Minor note: A reasonable judge isn't going to take an aerial photograph with a consumer grade GPS points, and your word that property in question is actually your property. You are going to need a professional survey, and go back through years of land deeds to be sure that what your are show is actually your property. I work in local government in community development, mistakes about property boundaries are all too common and I end up telling owners to hire a surveyor.


A couple things from the second site.

We have a Constitutional right to own property.

From what I know and can read. The Constitution says very little about citizens owning property other than the 'taking clause' found in 5 and 14. And that reads to me as we have the right not to have it taken away unjustly not to own it.

There is no due process in an Eviction

This is all wrong. The due process is the eviction. That is the reason the sheriff shows up with a court order to vacate the property. In Missouri the evicted individuals have the chance to show up in court and plead their case before the judge issues the eviction.

If you don't pay your property taxes, the county sue you for the taxes. The judgement is the auction of your personal property to settle your debt with the county. Guess what? This judgement took place in court, through due process and now you are being evicted and having your stuff auctioned. Whether the green-ink brigade recognises the power of the state or not doesn't matter to the state; they will come to collect and any legal claim you have to the property will not stand in any subsequent case.

The author of the second site even admits:

Now, I have NO IDEA if this is true, or if this method would apply in other states.


Is it possible to avoid paying property taxes? I don't want to say with an absolute no, but there is many years of legal precedence that says otherwise. Best bet is to hire a real estate / tax law lawyer but I wouldn't expect to get very far on the merits of your case.

Otherwise I remain extremely skeptical of the site's advice, it tingles my 'woo detector' as freeman / sovereign citizen / green-ink pseudo-legal witchcraft.

In the meantime, I would continue to pay my property taxes...

  • The claim says 95% of the land grants have the phrase, so a single anecdote of one without isn't very convincing. – Oddthinking Nov 1 '16 at 22:45
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    Nor should it be, nor was I implying that. I don't think it would be a worthwhile endeavour to count land patent phrasing but it is worth talking about previous examples. When drafting new law our counselor readily has us copy existing examples. Though the question has been edited now, at time the 95% didn't seem to be the claim. – RomaH Nov 1 '16 at 22:59
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    My point is that legal tools are not law. If there are mistakes in them we have a system to address them and there is legal hierarchy to what is binding. – RomaH Nov 1 '16 at 23:01
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Because the statement that the land grant "...is released from all interests, taxation, and control of the state to all owners, heirs, or assignees forever" is incorrect. I just checked the original land patents from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and found no such language.

Kentucky Secretary of State Land Patent Search

So given that that language is what the rest of the article rests on, the whole process fails.

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