Single-Minded About Single-Occupancy

, , , , , | Working | October 12, 2020

The county I live in is reassessing the tax on something to do with our refuse program — i.e. the dumpsters we take our trash to. I live in a house owned by my in-laws, literally next door. The house was an enormous garage long ago and was later converted into a duplex. When they bought the house, it was a single-family home.

On the day before Thanksgiving, I am home preparing for my husband’s family to eat at our house. I am very pregnant and have a small child, but my husband is at work. To my knowledge, both of my in-laws are at work, as well.

A man knocks on my door.

Tax Guy: “Hi. I’m from the county tax assessment office, and we have this home listed as a duplex, but there is only one mailing address. How many families reside here?”

I notice he has a clipboard and the right seals on his truck, but I had no idea about this and am miffed to be interrupted.

Me: “Um… the what now?”

Tax Guy: “The tax on the refuse sites is being reassessed, and as this is listed as a two-family home, we must tax the home as such. Now, how many families reside here?”

Me: “Well, it’s only one family because it is a one-family dwelling.”

Tax Guy: “I need to come inside to confirm it. You have two electric meters on the side of the house.”

Me: “One of them is disabled, and the electric company has yet to remove them. I am not letting you inside right now. I don’t know anything about this, and I am in the middle of preparing for tomorrow.”

Tax Guy: “I have to take pictures to prove this to the tax office as this is listed as a duplex. If I don’t, they will assess this as a two-family home.”

Me: “Sorry, I don’t know you, and I don’t know anything about this. My in-laws own this house, so you will need to talk to them before I can let you in. They live next door. Have a good day.”

I closed the door and went back to cooking and cleaning, somewhat confused as to why he needed pictures. I later learned that he went next door; my father-in-law had stayed home and I didn’t know because his truck was in the backyard. He explained that they had submitted the necessary documents and pictures to the county and there should be no issue. My in-laws complained to the county later that having assessors knocking on doors and asking to come in to take pictures without warning might alarm some women!

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