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Charles County minority homeowners, which include disabled veterans, senior citizens and farmers, still feel like the underdogs when it comes to home and land ownership going through the refinancing, selling, appraisals, tax assessments and market value process. You would think that in this day and time, we would be receiving a fair shake, but weíre not.

Real estate (homes, land, residential or commercial) owned by minorities are being appraised way under their elite white counterparts.

While watching a recent Charles County Planning Commission meeting, I listened to homeowners complaining about the land thatís been in the family for years is now and continues to be devalued by as much as $35 million per 100 acres. Homeownersí land and home tax assessments have not exceeded the market value of their property, meaning you cannot receive the financing because of the extremely low appraisal value, but you are bound and liable to pay the same amount of property taxes as if your home and land is still worth what the assessment was three or more years ago.

Whatís a homeowner to do? Donít give up and say nothing is going to change. Instead of sitting back and doing nothing, you need to attend local meetings, town hall meetings, homeowners association meetings. You have a voice, and you need to use it. You need to take it to the next level.

You need to bring it to the attention of your delegates, congressmen, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Trade Commission and President Obama, and make them aware that the laws and regulations that have been put into place are not working. Flood the system with your complaints.

If you have to, take it to the streets. If you donít tell them whatís going on, nothing will happen because they think everything is OK.

Itís your duty to step up to the plate and make some noise. As they always say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Delores Moses, Waldorf