Instead of the state choosing a local Royal Oak shyster, er, counselor, to represent them in the proceedings, they are opting to go the distance with the big guns. That’s right; they called in chi-chi lawyers from tony Bloomfield Hills. These are the kind of guys who can still afford a membership at Oakland Hills, still eat dinner at exclusive restaurants and hang around the Maserati dealership in their off time.
Our respondent’s first request for documents is intimidating and reads like a first year law text book. There are 51 “interrogatories” for the respondent (that’s us) and 34 more regarding the production of the documents we will be submitting. I can see why some might take a look at it and run screaming.
My husband’s first response was to freak out. It’s too much information to gather during the oncoming busy season. “I’ll back out this year, but next year I’ll let them have it!” So I took a look.
Many of the questions have little to do with the subject of taxes or the value of the property. For example, they want to know who provided financing from 1995 and what the payments were. They also want to know the “historical average tenant turnover,” how much we pay for pest control (0) among other things, and copies of our environmental reports. I don’t know what to say about that, since we share our space with several nesting sparrows. Should I produce my own research paper and give myself an A+?
After a deeper look, I decided this was totally doable, so I’m taking my case to the tribunal. I realize some of those vacant properties on my street are tax foreclosed, and the city and county are out the money they could have been collecting if there wasn’t a major depression going on. That doesn’t mean they can raise the value of my worthless building to something of worth and expect me to pay to make up the difference.
I’d rather see them dismantle the Bureaucratic Clubhouse and let the county do it.