Personal Tax Liens Recorded Against Innocent Individuals

By [post_author] –

Posted on Freedom Advocates on January 21st 2008 

County government wrongly recorded personal tax liens against innocent residents of Felton, California. The liens make people chattel of the established system.

Santa Cruz County, CA – On July 26, 2005 Bond Measure W was passed by voters in Felton, CA. The Measure was crafted in reaction to a County government effort to take the local internationally-owned water company by eminent domain. The bond authorized a property tax of $11 million plus interest to be paid yearly by 1,350 parcels.

On August 2, 2005, one week after the election, County Supervisors passed a resolution directing the recording of a lien that was illegally implemented. A tax lien may be imposed for delinquent taxes or as a result of failure to pay taxes, neither of which had yet occurred in Felton.

On August 17, 2005, County officials recorded the lien.

Property owners affected can contact the County of Santa Cruz Clerk Recorder’s office to determine if they have a tax lien recorded against them by calling 831-454-2800 or going to the website Web Link and entering a last name. Entering document ID 2005-057611 will render a list of all 1952 individuals whose credit and title have been affected. Your listing will look like this:

DOE, JOHN 2005-0057611

TAX LIEN 8/17/2005

Experian, one of the three major credit rating companies, says: “A tax lien is a claim against assets filed by a taxing authority against property of a person who owes back taxes. The Tax Lien report will point out if ‘a customer is becoming a higher risk due to nonpayment of taxes.’”

Being classified as a high credit risk has the following consequences:

• Possible rejection by a credit extending agency

• Lower credit score reducing availability of credit

• Higher interest rates on credit cards and loans

Gary E. Hazelton, County Recorder agreed stating, “A tax lien definitely affects credit availability.”

Recording a tax lien against the individual owner by name is not mentioned in any of the county documents concerning Measure W. Voters were not made aware of this intention prior to voting.

According to a County official, the Board of Supervisors should:

1. Adopt another resolution expunging the recordation as an error

2. Expunge the erroneous recordations

3. Send a letter acknowledging the expungement to all 1952 individuals affected

4. Inform the 3 major credit bureaus of the erroneous recordation and expungement

5. Apologize to the 1952 Felton residents

Residents should contact Treasurer-Tax Collector Fred Keeley, Room 150 County Government Center • Santa Cruz, California 95060, Phone (831) 454-2510 to express displeasure with the County’s actions and insist that they resolve the issue.



Board of Supervisors Resolution directing a tax lien AFTER the election:

Web Link

Follow up ordinance passed defining terms and collection methods:

Web Link

County Clerk Recorder’s Office (tax lien date 8/17/2005):

Web Link

Scotts Valley Times January 1, 2008 article

Web Link

“Personal Tax Liens Recorded Against Innocent Individuals” by Andrea Sanchez

This article contains links to outside sources not controlled by Freedom Advocates and therefore are subject to change.

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