Paul L. Caron

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Texas Supreme Court Holds Property Tax Unconstitutional

The Texas Supreme Court, in Neeley v. West Orange-Grove Consolidated Independent School District, No. 04-1144 (Nov. 22, 2005), held that Texas school districts illegally use property taxes to pay for public education.  The court ordered that the state must find a new way to finance schools by June 1 or classrooms will not open for the fall term.

(Thanks to Dan Marsh for the tip.)

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Why they ask for double digit increase on tax rate every single year?
read this article.

Posted by: test | Jun 9, 2008 4:53:54 PM

How, in fact does the "elastic clause" of the US Constitution impact this argument? Is Congress compelled to codify "property taxes" as constitutional. In fact any abomination is hypothetically tenable STRICTLY speaking!

Posted by: Peter | Apr 21, 2008 5:27:11 PM

very interesting. It was declared unconstitutional in ohio too, but no one seems to care (the politicians and others responsible for obedience to the constitituion). in fact when I saw the president sworn in he said he would up hold the constitution of the united states, of course maybe they are talking about another constitution here.

They are really stealthy in using terms we are familiar with, and it meaning something different to them then us, like democracy, when they say democracy, they mean majority rules in the government enviroment, not the public at large. People think all people at large too, but it probably doesn't mean that.

We can expect corruption like this as humans are basically selfish by nature, I mean whoever had to teach a very young child to be selfish? Now johnny share your toys and don't eat all the cookies let your sister have some. So it is not without reason that the phrase came about "absolute power corrupts absolutly." If one doesn't curb it in oneself through self determination then the selfish qualities will dominate all decisions and beliefs systems.

I find that I have to curb it in myself too, so I am no saint that is for sure. Power just makes it harder and bad associations spoil useful habits. If you hang around creeps, then don't be surprised if you become one yourself. It is not without reason the bible describes governments as beast, as governments become very monsterous indeedy!

INdividuals who have good motives in government just get overwhelmed by the enormity of the problems and resistances they come across, after all they are only human too.


Posted by: roberta robinson | Jul 28, 2007 4:08:56 PM

thank you for your artical on unconstitutional property tax.i'm in the process of studying administrative law.i 've been mailing and talking to my county tax colector.i have sent him sections of the constitution and laws showing he is acting under color of law. he calls me a tax protester and files everything i send him in the tax protester file. i'm hoping when i get my affidavit of tuth together and send it to him ,he doesen't read it and just files it. thank you john

Posted by: john berns | May 23, 2007 7:57:31 PM

It’s The Law
Beaver Cole – Kilgore, Texas

I am not here to debate property taxes, thus giving credence to an unlawful statute (having the form and name of law which is in reality no law). Rather, I am here to explain and prove that the appraisal method of taxation, regardless of which state you live in, is illegal and unconstitutional.

Taxation on property should be accomplished in the proper manner in accordance with the mandates set forth in the Constitution of the United States of America and not as it has been done in the past, that is, by erroneously appraised value. You cannot have local and state law going in opposite direction of the US Constitution.

The Constitution of the United States of America is quite clear as to how we are to be subjected to a direct tax. The framers of the Constitution included not one but two limitations in the Constitution.

The limitations forbidding direct taxation of individuals are found first in Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3, which states:

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers…”

Again, in the Constitution of the United States of America, Article 1, Section 9, Clause 4 states:

“No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration here in before directed to be taken.”

These basic sections of the Constitution have never been amended. The Constitution only allows for direct taxation of individuals and property by CENSUS or ENUMERATION.

Deceiving citizens into voluntarily subjecting themselves to a tax based on the value of their property is FRAUD. When individuals voluntarily subject themselves to such fraud, it is a blatant violation of the Constitution. The action is pure theft under color of law.

Today’s method and enforcement for the collection of property taxes is by fear and intimidation. It is as un-American as the origin of the method itself. To constantly raise property value by inflationary measures is as un-unconstitutional as the appraisal method itself, including cash-cow tactics of a home’s square footage, age of house, and structure type whether it be brick, wood, mud, bamboo or whatever. It is un-American to penalize or punish a person for their achievements through un-Constitutional taxation.

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land in the U.S. It was written to create a government of limited powers for the primary purpose of securing citizens’ rights to life, liberty and property. Again, you cannot have local and state law going in one direction and the Constitution going in another, they have to be in unison.

The Declaration of Independence states that it is the duty of citizens to oppose and resist abuses of their rights. These Constitutional violations and violations of citizens’ rights can be stopped if enough people become informed of these facts.

Every American has the RIGHT to own property. That RIGHT is protected in our nation’s fundamental law in the “Life, Liberty, and Pursuit to Happiness” clause. As a matter of fact, Jefferson’s first draft on the Declaration of Independence said, “life, liberty and the pursuit of property”! He changed it to “happiness” in order to broaden the meaning to include any general pursuit, which still embraced property.

The U.S. Supreme Court has stated that no tax may be levied upon a Constitutionally protected RIGHT unless that tax is levied upon Citizens equally - that, of course, is a “properly apportioned” tax. In other words, if you owe $25 property tax, and so does each person of your family living with you owe $25: the guy who owns the biggest house owes $25, and so does each member of his family owe $25 each.
CENUSUS or ENUMERATION means head-count, not value.

Just because some lawmakers think they are acting correctly when they write an abusive, unfair and despotic tax law, does not make it a proper law. There is one greater measure to which all laws must be held – the Constitution of the United States of America, ….Article 6, Clause 2, states:

“This Constitution and the Laws of the United States which shall be made pursuant thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in The Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

This premise is further bolstered by those more learned and scholarly than I in various Supreme Court rulings:

“The general misconception is that any statute passed by legislators bearing the appearance of law constitutes the law of the land. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and any statute, to be valid, must be in agreement. It is impossible for both the Constitution and a law violating it to be valid; one must prevail.”

This is succinctly stated as follows:

“The General rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it.

“An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed. Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted.

“Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it…

“A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one. An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid law. Indeed, insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the land, it is superseded thereby.

“No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.”Sixteenth American Jurisprudence, Second Edition, Section 256

It is really pretty simple: if one citizen owes one dollar in property tax, his neighbor owes exactly the same as well as each occupant owes the same. That’s the way our founding fathers wanted it. The old cliché “but it is the law,” or “the local law lays the requirement for the taxation of property by its mandated (Appraised) value and not the number of people living therein/thereon according to a census,” the Constitution is still the supreme law of the land. Isn’t it about time that we stop abusing the people and stop abusing the Constitution of the United States and demand the abolition of the unfair, unconstitutional property tax by the appraisal method?

As for my fellow Texans, did you ever look closely at your copy of NOTICE OF APPRAISED VALUE? Maybe you observed that they, for some reason, forgot to press the $ key on their computer? I really don’t think this is the problem. It has something else that is driving them to not include that $ in front of the amount they want you to send them. Could it be that they cannot lawfully ask for anything other than lawful money in payment for taxes or fees? Or, could it possibly be that the property tax, specifically the school tax, is voluntary? Please show me in the Constitution of the United States where anyone is obligated to educate the children, especially those of another man and woman. Are homeschoolers or private schools paid per head with tax dollars as public schools are? Why are parents still obligated to pay school taxes if their children are not in public schools? Do you pay your grocery store for milk that you do not acquire?

Is property tax voluntary? Is property tax a donation?

The Texas Constitution says, at Article 8, Section 1-a:

…Provided that in those counties or political subdivisions or areas of the State from which tax donations have heretofore been granted, the State Automatic Tax Board shall continue to levy the full amount of the State ad valorem tax for the duration of such donation, or until all legal obligations heretofore authorized by the law granting such donation or donations shall have been fully discharged, whichever shall first occur; provided that if such donation to any such county or political subdivision is for less than the full amount of State ad valorem taxes so levied, the portion of such taxes remaining over and above such donation shall be retained by said county or subdivision.

The word donation / donations are used six (6) times in the above text of legal jargon.


Property tax assessed on the APPRAISED VALUE is totally unconstitutional. I don’t care what State or County you live in, the appraised method is unconstitutional.

Please share this information with others.


Beaver Cole

397 Meador Road

Kilgore, Texas

Posted by: Beaver Cole | Feb 20, 2007 3:48:53 AM

Yes, these are ruled unconstitutional but why does Hays county still steal my money for their taxes on school. The school system here in Wimberley is not good and doesn't deserve any money from people who don't have students in school.

Posted by: Ernie Pannell | Jul 14, 2006 7:25:40 PM