Updating land patent

May a person avoid the payment of property taxes by claiming to hold the real estate as an allodial freehold estate?

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The legislative history accompanying that amendment explains that the bill was intended to clarify that the homestead is not exempt from real estate taxes and assessments.

Our answer to your second question makes it unnecessary to address your third question.

RCW 6.13.080(5) now provides that the homestead exemption does not apply to such assessments. Opinion of the Skagit County Prosecutor, dated September 23, 1987. The court explained: The trustee places great emphasis on the words "of the owner," construing them to connote that the homestead exemption is not available as to real estate tax debts, where the liability is not personal but is .

While no Washington court has yet considered the application of the homestead exemption to property taxes, the bankruptcy court has recently addressed precisely this question. There is no legislative history to give a clue as to why this language was added to the statute.

Also attached was a copy of what is described as the original land patent from the United States.

According to the materials you provided, the property owner has expressed his view that the filing of these documents means he no longer has to pay taxes.

REAL PROPERTY - TAXATION - COUNTIES - HOMESTEADS - Effect of homestead declaration and declaration of allodial ownership on property tax liability. A recorded declaration that a property owner holds real estate in "allodial freehold" is ineffective to exempt the real estate from property taxes levied under state law. A declaration of homestead filed on real estate pursuant to chapter 6.13 RCW does not prevent the foreclosure and sale of real estate for unpaid property taxes, as property taxes are not "debts of the owner" and thus are not rendered exempt from execution by RCW 6.13.070.

******************* March 1, 1996 The Honorable David Skeen Prosecuting Attorney Jefferson County P. Box 1220 Port Townsend, WA 98368 Cite as: AGO 1996 No.

The background materials you provided indicate that the particular property owner filed the documents in which he asserted an "allodial freehold" as attachments to a homestead declaration.

While this fact may suggest something about the owner's subjective understanding of the law, we see no reason why this would affect the homestead declaration if it is otherwise valid.

These statements give rise to your questions as to whether this claim is correct (and you correctly anticipate our conclusion that it is not) and if not, what procedures might be employed in foreclosing on such property for nonpayment of taxes.

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