Written by Captain Mary on Friday, September 03, 2010

My neighbors have been here since the beginning of time. I have one of my neighbors who recently left town for a time to have surgery and recovery time to N.C.. In the meantime she had her mail forwarded to her N.C. address. While home in Miami the mail arrived that had that letter about your Homestead Exemptions, you know the one, it says if these exemptions are correct do nothing. The government has this letter set up to not forward anywhere. As you might guess the letter was returned to the Exemption Board and they immediately removed her exemptions, not only did they do that but they changed her assessed value as if the home was repurchased by a new owner. The name of the deed did not change, and according to the rules, if the home is no longer your homestead they can only increase the assessed value ten percent. Lets do the math, it went from 84,000 to 172,00. My math skills may not be perfect, but that doesn't seem to add up.
In her horror, Lilly, contacted me and we began to try to fix this problem. First, we make our way to the government office to try to correct the problem. Lilly did not have enough identification to correct the problem. So, we schedule a hearing with the Adjustment Board, now that ten months has passed, the date for the hearing is here.
Time to go Downtown, I won't even get into the logistics, that's another story. At the Government Center we sit before three people, one was a magistrate, and two others with the administration of Exemption, or something like that. Before we entered the room, I had to instruct Lilly, who was in tears, to keep calm and be nice. Lilly was a wreck, trying to live on her retirement of 13,000 a year is hard enough, but to tell her that she has to pay 4,000 in taxes just sent her over the edge. I can't image what it would be like to be over 80 years old and living in her home for almost 50 years, and the government tells you "this is not your home anymore". She was devastated. Lilly started to ramble on, not realizing that the board had already restored 2 of her 3 exemptions. I got it, so we were more than half way through the process, now we had to restore the assessed value of the home back to 2008 prices. I have always believe that there are no problems without solutions. So, I had to speak up and tell the board that we don't have the identification that they require, instead of discussing why Lilly does not have it, I said lets find a solutions. The board began to brainstorm, and one of the ladies suggested a special form. We began the paperwork with the help of the board. One of ladies took us down stairs to have the forms notarized, after I filled them out, she sent us to record the documents. After hours of paperwork, I told Lilly that we are going back to the board and bringing the paperwork to the Assessment board, this completes the process. I mentioned to all who helped me and Lilly that this was "Help a Neighbor Day", the response to this was wonderful, we became know as the "Good Neighbors".
Our driver Max, and neighbor got us home, pulling up to my house Lilly turns around and says to me give me a call, I shouted "No way, its the end of Help a Neighbor Day, now Piss off a Neighbor, begins", of course I was kidding.
I was so happy to report that everyone that we encountered in our Downtown adventure was wonderful, it all started because I instructed my neighbors to be nice. The old saying you catch more flies with honey, is sooooooo true.

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  1. 4 comments: Responses to “ BEING NEIGHBORLY ”

  2. By Mini on September 3, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    That was super nice of you. Now if you can get others to pay it foward, people would be nicer to each other. Who you going to help today??? LOL

  3. By Anonymous on September 4, 2010 at 8:03 AM

    Glad you found a driver to get you there, but sad that her own children wouldn't help. Your a good person sis.

  4. By Christine Michaels on September 12, 2010 at 10:37 PM

    I wish I lived in neighborly community. No such luck--I live in condo with mostly renters. They are mostly concerned about themselves. And most are kids in college. Not fun. How I miss my old neighborhood. As you know I take care of colony of cats in the hood. Many people have said "oh how can I help?" but very few actually do. How I hate when people say things for appearances and turn out to be empty words! Empty people. I keep forging ahead. Nothing stops this Cat Woman!

  5. By Anonymous on November 5, 2010 at 11:03 PM

    Hi, good post. I have been pondering this topic,so thanks for sharing. I’ll likely be coming back to your posts. Keep up the good work