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No bidders for property owned by tax protester Joseph Diliberti

There were no bidders for the property owned by tax protester Joseph Diliberti at Friday's tax auction held by the San Diego County treasurer-tax collector.

The 3-acre parcel in the back country east of El Cajon will be now be part of a May online auction, officials said. 

In 2004, Diliberti refused to pay a $27,000 bill from a private company hired by the local fire district to clear brush on his parcel. Because of that refusal, he was not allowed to pay his property taxes. With penalties, and other consideration, the bill has grown to $70,000.

County policy calls for parcels with unpaid taxes for five years to be offered for sale. At Friday's auction, held at the San Diego Convention Center, 309 parcels were for sale.

Diliberti -- Vietnam veteran, Rastafarian, flutist and iconoclast -- lives on a military disability pension from injuries suffered in Vietnam. He has vowed never to pay the bill. Diliberti did not appear at the auction.

Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister has said there are no plans to evict Diliberti from the property. It remains unclear what will happen if there are no bidders at future auctions.


He stood his ground but may lose his land

Audio slide show: Former Marine does it his way

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Joseph Diliberti at home. Credit: Al Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (26)

This poor man is being robbed!

Why don't this Rastamasta grow weed on his land to pay off his bills? I bet his whole lot is boobytrapped.

How much is this going for?

why doesn't someone buy it for a dirt cheap price and then sell it back to RastaMan - If I had more time than the sporadic 5min that I have between making ends meet, I'd totally help out

If the guy is smart and plays his cards right, he can buy his own property back
at a tax-sale auction for pennies on the dollar, and once again have clear title to it, with no back-taxes owed.

I hope no one buys it so the guy can keep his land. This is another example of the government stealing from the little guy and kicking him while he is down.

$27,000 for brush removal? Private company? this stinks, I wouldn't pay it either.


OK jackass ... I'll bet you. How much?

$27,000 to clear brush ?
WTH , that's as much as UC honchos make !

Turn some goats loose for a far far more reasonable price .

This is outrageous. Just leave the peace man alone!

To much government.

One assumes nobody thought the property was worth the minimum opening bid, which we can safely assume was equal to the sum of the outstanding fines and taxes of $70K.

This curious occurrence may be a harbinger that fewer people are willing to invest in California real estate. If such is the case, then good. A government that feels entitled to feast upon privately owned land is one richly deserving of a painful and humiliating reality check.

Just like the private sector, the public sector needs to shed jobs and do some serious downsizing. Instead of furloughs, let's start talking about layoffs.

$27,000 to clear brush? Who did the work,
The City of Bell?

This is institutionalized theft, which makes it no less evil.

He should spend a bit of money on a good lawyer.

seriously, leave the dude in peace to live on his own land. he isn't hurting anybody, quite the opposite, he is using fewer resources, emitting less carbon and generally living a more healthy and balanced life on the land than 90% of us. how about a little consideration for that instead of your punitive right wing oppression, san diego?

$70,000?! He probably doesn't have $70,000! And, $27,000 to clear brush? Sounds like the "private company" was really taking advantage of the situation. Maybe if the government wanted the brush cleared, it should have used their own workmen.

The 5th Amendment says you cannot be deprived of property without due process of law. Also, the government is arbitrarily adding in the outrageous charge for weed removal to the tax bill a totally improper and illegal procedure. He should be allowed a jury trial on all issues before the county can take land. This illustrates how government hates the constitution and lawyers have sold us all out. This is theft by deception by government. This is what happens when there are no penalties to government bureaucrats when they violate the very constitution they are "sworn" to follow. Shame on them. Shame on Gestapo government of California.

San Diego County should be fined $10,000 per day plus a year in jail for every day they seek to deprive him of his proerty in patent violation of the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which they took a meaningless "oath" to follow, but are arbitrarily denying him the basic right to a jury trial on the basic issues of government theft of his land illegally. It is completely improper for government to be permitted to confiscate land without a jury trial in patent violation of the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. He was a Marine and took an oath to protect and defend this same Constitution with his life, while these local yokels are running over him like a steam roller. This is a perfect example of how our government has degenerated to a criminal cesspool and lawyers have sold us all out. Is it any wonder we had disasters at Waco, Texas and Ruby Ridge with more likely to come soon?

Be an American! Pay your taxes, I do. Looking at Diliberti, I wouldn't want to be downwind from him.

If all citizens would voluntarily refuse to bid on all these land auctions by government, which amount to little more than illegal theft of land by Gestapo Goverment differing little from Nazi, Germany or the former Soviet Union, local yokels who wilfully violate our Constitution would be forced to provde the jury trial "guaranteed" by the 5th Amendment before they can arbitrarily and capriciously take land from any citizen. This outrageous procedure of local yokels to take land without a hearing is nothing but government theft. Stop buying this land and government will be forced to comply with the rules they violate with impunity every day. The lawyers have sold us all out for government money and power.

27,000 to clean up brush around the small area where he lives! This is obviously a set up from some sharks trying to take advantage of someone they see as an easy prey. Give him a break! An inflated brush cleaning bills from a private company who probably has some ties to selling the land as well.

Dood serves his country and now this is what he gets? his home taken from him?

Re: "...he is using fewer resources, emitting less carbon and generally living a more healthy and balanced life..."

Well, he's keeping 3 acres of land for his own enjoyment. That's a resource and a valuable one.

Healthy and balanced? How can you say that?

Further, he's consuming resources produced by society by receiving his disability payments while offering nothing back to the society that produces for him. If he is truly disabled, we should all be happy to help him out and not expect anything in return. But even then, we should expect him to pay his share of property taxes instead of basically giving us the finger.

If you read it carefully, he never tried to avoid paying his taxes. He was not ALLOWED to pay his taxes without unless he first paid the $27,000 bill from that private company hired by the fire district. San Diego County REFUSED his taxes and would not let him pay them. Then when it got to the oint of five years without the taxes (plus interest) being paid, they put his land up for auction. He apparently was a law-abiding taxpayer. The county is messing him over.

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