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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is The Arizona Board of Appraisal. They get the award for the following.

The Arizona House voted Monday for legislation that would overturn a state regulatory board's order to a Seattle-based online real estate estimator to stop doing business in Arizona.

The House amended a bill on the state Board of Appraisal without debate to say that an online Web site that gives a free opinion on the value of real estate is not an appraisal if it doesn't call itself that.

The Board of Appraisal had issued two cease-and-desist letters to the company that operates, saying it needs an appraiser license to offer its ``zestimates'' in Arizona.

A web tool used by home buyers and sellers is under fire from the Arizona Board of Appraisal.

Punch in your address and will tell you what they think you're home is worth.

"You have no way of vetting the number. It may be right on, it may be off by $40,000 either way," said Gregg Swann, a broker with Bloodhound Realty.

"It's sort of like going to WebMD. If you understand the difference between going to and going to the doctor, then you understand the difference between going to and going to an appraiser," said Swann.

Why is Zillow under fire from the Arizona Board of Appraisal?

"You'd have to ask them directly. But, my guess is what they're doing is they're looking to protect the jobs of appraisers," said Swann.
Bureaucrats feel threatened, isn't that novel. The board's actions are an assault on taxpayers. The citizens of Arizona deserve the right to know if their property is appraised correctly. I'm glad legislators are moving to stop the Board's abusive actions.

Professor Volokh writes

It seems to me that the statute, as interpreted by the board, is at the very least constitutionally overbroad: It would bar newspaper articles expressing an opinion of some property's value, casual conversations about what some property is likely worth, or criticisms of property tax appraisals based on the speaker's own opinion of a property's value -- all speech that must surely be constitutionally protected.
Another attack on Free Speech by our own government. That is all it takes to make The Arizona Board of Appraisal today's Knucklehead of the Day.

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