Exonerations from tax burdens

September 8, 2013


Like you, I’ve recently received my property tax bills and like you, they seem very high to me. Is there ever going to be a day when any government, at any level reduces our tax burden? I doubt it. We see growing numbers of people with their hands out asking for government assistance every day. Victims of their own laziness who refuse to be personally accountable. Then of course, politicians are generally very eager to help them, using our money of course. It is real easy to make promises to give people financial help, when it’s not your own money you’re handing out.

One thing that truly troubles me is this thing I’ve been hearing about called “exonerations”. I understand, that in our county, these exonerations are done at various times and for a variety of people. I really don’t understand the process? From what I’ve been told, the County Commission receives request from residents seeking property tax relief. In turn, I’m told, the Commission grants relief to these residents in part or in whole. My question is, can anyone apply? How does one go about applying? I don’t know about you, but all I ever seem to get is higher taxes every year. If I am eligible for some tax exonerations, I’d like to find out how to get one, because I could really use a break.

Please don’t misunderstand my position. I realize that our taxes pay for those resources and common services that our communities share in. So, I’m willing to pay my fair share. But, I’m not necessarily pleased to pay my part, if another person in the county of equal or greater economic means is being given exoneration. That isn’t fair. Now, I’m not saying this is the case. I haven’t researched the tax records yet to see who is and who is not paying property taxes. My point is if some county residents with adequate means are being given exonerations while the rest of us pay the full amount, that is wrong.

I really don’t have the time to go to the courthouse and spend hours of time researching to see who is getting exonerations. But, I might make the time. Perhaps it would be more reasonable if the County Commission just publish the list of everyone who has been granted an exoneration in the past five or ten years? That way, the rest of us would know whether these people are too poor, or in a hardship situation that justified the exoneration. That seems reasonable to me?

Better still; if there is some formula that we can apply to determine if we qualify for exoneration, then tell everyone so we can all take advantage of the tax break. Like I said, I don’t have any issue with paying my part. But, I’m afraid I might be paying more than my share because other, equally capable people aren’t.

I’m sure there are lots of other folks in our county who would like to know how this process works. Perhaps one of your readers knows more about this and can educate all of us on how to get exonerations. I look forward to hearing from other, more knowledgeable people on this subject.

Gary Lee Corns

Logan, WV