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OK, now they've ticked me off!!--updated 2-26-09

Larry's Wife

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Sheesh! The county I live in has really ticked me off!

I got a shock when I opened my mailbox this afternoon. An envelope from the county. On the outside of the envelope, it says "exemption cancellation enclosed". What?!? So I open it up right then and there. Single page. Big red letters: 2009 CANCELLATION OF HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION It goes on to say that if I have any questions or concerns, to call.

I call. The phone rang and rang. So I thought, maybe I dialed the wrong number. I redialed. The phone rang and rang. My heart, by this time, is squarely in my throat. I called again. I let the phone ring 15 times (I counted). Someone picked up, finally!!

Hey, I got this notice that you cancelled my homestead exemption. Why? Well, your husband died. Yes. We removed his name from the property records and you need to update your file. Why? I still live here and I didn't ask you to remove his name from our property records. We do it automatically. Well, you just about gave me a heart attack! Why wouldn't you just send a letter telling me I need to update my file? Why scare me like that? Well, because we want you to take us seriously and come in and update your file. OK. I'll be in tomorrow.

And then I got to thinking. We have lived in this house for 25 years. Joint ownership. Just because Larry died and they took his name off doesn't change the fact that I have also owned and lived in this house for 25 years. I shouldn't have to update my file. And, in any case, it is unconscionable that they would send a notice like that to any surviving spouse. And I am going to tell them so tomorrow.


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Bruce, I fully intend to allow them tell me why they are kicking widows/widowers in the teeth all over Brevard County. And then I will rip them up. LOL

If they give me a logical answer, I might not go to the press. LOL But I still intend to rip them up. No matter what their reasoning, logical or not, I will inform them that their policy is wrong. My tax bill has H/W after my name. "His wife". Why on earth would they need to make me prove that I have lived in this house for the last 25 years with M/H (My Husband)?

Why do I feel this way? This is what they are asking me for:

drivers license

auto registration for all vehicles I own

voter registration card

social security card

copy of my tax bill

They haven't asked for any of these documents for the last 25 years. Why should I need to produce them now, simply because Larry passed away? Nothing else has changed.

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This is absolutely criminal - how would they feel if the shoe was on the other foot. I agree 100% with you - nothing that is any of their business has changed. I am sorry that you have to deal with insensitive people and procedures - it just adds to the whole unfairness of the entire situation.

Hugs coming your way,


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You know, I'm almost glad I got that notice. Because I'm strong enough to handle it. Maybe I can make a difference for a person who isn't. I can and will bring them every document they are asking for. I have no doubt that my file will be "updated" with nothing lost but a bit of my time. But I am so incensed that they would send out such a notice to anyone who is a joint owner of a property, let alone when the record clearly states that the owners were married. This simply cannot be allowed to continue.

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Okay, one suggestion...

Be NICE to the person at the front desk so you can get in to see the person who was responsible for the letter and give THEM hell. If you give hell to the person at the front desk, the responsible party will be too scared to see you and have the front desk person tell you they are "unavailable" - believe me, I've had to lie for those kinda cowards before!

Get r' done!

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A funny thing happened on the way to my appointed mission. 8)

Today was our Florida LCSC Luncheon. Judy, Muriel and I met at Dixie Crossroads at 12:30. We had a lovely lunch and talked and talked and talked. Are you getting the picture?

Jim Ford, Property Appraiser got a reprieve today. I'm not going to let this go, though. I'll have to do it on Monday. At least I didn't ruin the man's weekend. :wink:

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Well, I made it to Jim Ford, Property Appraiser's office this afternoon. I submitted my paperwork to reinstate my exemptions. I spoke with a very nice lady.

We went through all my documents. And then I mentioned that I want my $10 widow's exemption, since they inconvenienced me by making me come to their office. She asked me if I brought the death certificate. It wasn't on the list of things to bring, so, of course, I didn't bring it.

I was nice. I reminded her that the reason I came today was because they removed Larry's name from my file without my knowledge because they knew he was dead. "Well, we only know the date. Not that you were actually married to him on the date of his death and, therefore, entitled to the exemption." I pointed out that our file has H/W after my name. No dice. But I don't have to give them an original. And I can fax it. Yippee!!

So, we finish up. I ask to see Jim Ford, Property Appraiser so I can talk to him about my issues with his process. Nice Lady informs me that it is a state statute. I said I wanted the statute number then, because if I have to pursue this with the state, I certainly intend to. "Would you like to speak with my manager?" No. I want to speak with Mr. Ford. I'm sure he is the only one with the authority to change the process. So she makes a call. He's not in. I left a message. He's to call me. But I'm not letting him off the hook with a phone call. I want an appointment, and I told Nice Lady so. I want that man to see my face.

The end of today's story...I'm ready to leave. Then Nice Lady drops the bombshell. "Do you want us to add your husband back onto your file?"

What?!? If that was an option, why am I here today?

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I just read all your posts on here and I feel like Im in never never land. What the heck??

This should not happen, you should not have to go through this.You lose your husband and you have to go through this BS... There must be so many others in the same situation. :twisted:

I really hope you get a call back for an appointment. And ya know if not, when you said going to the news media I don't know if you were serious or just kidding, but if you hear nothing, then it may be a good shot. They love stuff like that. Here they call it investigaing resporting.

Good luck and keep us posted.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Newest chapter in the Jim Ford, Property Appraiser saga:

I called the office yesterday because I have not yet been given an appointment to see Jim Ford, Property Appraiser and because I checked the on-line records to see if my file had been updated.

A pleasant woman answers the phone. I'm calling because it looks like my file has not been corrected since my visit on 2-9-09 to address the nastygram you sent me. HAHAHA! Well, it wasn't really a nastygram! Yes, ma'am, it was, but that's another story. Will you please check the records and see if I have my widow's exemption and my granny exemption? The deadline is on March 1st, and time is a'ticking. Yes, you have your widow's exemption, but I can't tell you if you have your granny exemption. "Valuation" handles that part. You'll have to take it up with them. Everything has been received on our end, though. So, when can I find out when "Valuation" has approved my exemption? In August, when you receive your TRIM notice. And what happens if they don't have my exemption recorded? You'll have to take it up with them at that time. OOOOOOK. You've been very helpful. Will you please transfer me to Jim Ford's office?

Jim Ford's office. Hello. I spoke with you on 2-10-09 requesting an appointment with Mr. Ford. I have yet to hear back from him. Well, I gave him the message. I don't set his appointments. Well, could you please take another message and tell him that I want an appointment to discuss your procedures regarding the death of a spouse/joint property owner. I don't want to be an anonymous taxpayer in his eyes. I want him to see my face. Yes, ma'am, will do.

Ring!! Hello? This is Dawn from Public Relations. Mr. Ford is not available, but I'm calling to discuss your complaint. I have a complaint about the way you revoked my homestead exemption for the simple reason my husband died. Well, ma'am, as a courtesy to the taxpayer, we remove a deceased person's name from the record, which results in you having to update your file. I'm not feeling like you did me a courtesy at all. Could you not have sent me a letter acknowledging my husband's death and the need for me to come in and update my file? Well, I'm actually looking into that, because another taxpayer also wondered why we revoked his exemption. It's a programming issue that I'm working to resolve. But all I can do is make a recommendation. Well, will you keep me apprised of your progress? Because I'm not going to let this go. You can call me anytime, ma'am. Can't you take the initiative to put this in your tickler file to call me periodically and let me know of your progress? Well, yes, I can do that. So, why won't Mr. Ford give me an appointment? I don't know that he won't, ma'am but he's been busy. Well, I want him to see my face. I want an appointment with him. Yes, ma'am. I'll give him your message.

March is fast approaching. One month should be long enough to wait for an appointment, right? If I haven't seen Jim Ford, Property Appraiser by March 9, I'm going to the press.

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