Norfolk, VA, wants to know if you’ve remodeled your bathroom so they can up your real estate taxes.  Workers coming inside to assess a home’s worth? That’s troubling.

A news release, posted last month on the city’s Web site, explained that the city workers, driving city vehicles, would fan out around the city:

“Beginning April 20, the Norfolk Real Estate Assessor’s office will begin a five year field review program that will include a physical inspection of every residential and commercial property in the City of Norfolk.

“Field reviews will be conducted Monday thru Friday from 9:00 am – 5 pm. The neighborhood inspections will take place from April through July for the next five years. Prior to initiating the inspection of a particular property, the appraiser will make the appropriate introduction at the door. If the owner/occupant is not home, an exterior review will be conducted and a notice will be left informing the owner of the visit….”

Do you have to let them in?  No.  What can a city official do?  They can wander around a fenced yard if the gate is unlocked, or is not posted “No Tresspassing.  There will probably be a run on gate locks and “Keep Out” signs in the Norfolk area.

What are they looking for?

I asked the assessor if it was fair that those accommodating types with tidy houses and fresh paint might see their assessments raised, while their more slovenly neighbors might not.

Not going to happen, Bunn said. Her employees are looking for structural improvements.

Such as?

Mahogany trim or granite countertops.

Oh, I see. In Norfolk, it’s not enough that you paid income taxes on the money you used to buy the granite. Or that you paid a sales tax on the stone itself. And the installation.

The city is now itching to slap you with a countertop tax.

Any excuse to wring money out of taxpayers and know every detail of your life.  Where does it end?  Penalties for your furniture placement not in compliance with feng shui principles?

Thanks to Lucianne