June 23, 2018

Here is the email I sent the commissioners after they refused to correct my assessments.  As you watch the 4 minute video keep in mind my apartments rent for $450 to $600 for a two bedroom apartment.  Yes, you can rent a really nice 2 bedroom apartment in Dickinson, North Dakota for $600 or less.

Dear Commissioners,

I came to you and said my properties are over assessed. The assessor lied and said they were not. Now, that I cannot collect he admits they were as much as 60% over assessed. See Video of his statement. Over Assessments. I feel the assessor stole over $250,000 from me and my wife by over assessing my property. I believe that qualifies as grand larceny and since we are over 75 years old I believe it is also elderly financial abuse.

Today the assessor says my properties are only 10% over assessed. I have attached a second independent appraisal showing Century was and still is 60% over assessed.


Century Apartments Ibach Summary How much proof do I need to provide for you to believe me?  I have attached the complete appraisal for your review. As you can see Century is over 100% over assessed in 2017 and 2018 based on not one but two appraisals now by two different appraisers.

Comment from Kelly Witherspoon after watching the video. This comment was not part of the email to the commissioners.

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!  Who is the bald guy and does he have any common sense?  Of course others want their assessed values reduced because projects are valued in INCOME that is a fraction of what it used to be.  Wow, unreal.  It basically makes any property unsellable due to the hit you take on NOI from tax value that they won’t correct, and now is very public knowledge.  Outrageous, and sad.

Can’t believe you’re having to deal with that.  Small town politics and idiocy. ”

Kelly Witherspoon, Managing Director, BERKADIA, a Berkshire Hathaway and Jefferies Financial Group Company.

Just for clarification the bald guy is the assessor.

NDCC 57-12-01.1 Spot Check of Real Property calls for the County Board of Equalization prior to its June meeting to provide for spot checks, yet the County Board of Equalization has done none and refuses to do any because of the fear they will discovery that the assessor is wrong and has been wrong. The commissioners fear the assessor’s values will not stand up to independent scrutiny and verification of true and full fair market value as required by the code, so they have refused to do any spot checks and have denied all appeals. “Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.” Provers 20:17

Both Joe Hirschfeld, the assessor, and Natalie Wandler, Stark County Director of Equalization, have argued at the hearings that you (the Commissioners) cannot correct Mr. Royal’s assessments or anyone else’s for that matter, not because they are right and should not be corrected but because others will want theirs corrected also. Implying all the other assessments are wrong too. I don’t know if they are or not but if the others are wrong shouldn’t you correct them also provided they show proof they are wrong like I have. If all the assessments are wrong and have been wrong as both Joe and Natalie are implying, then the assessor should be replaced for being incompetent.

Isn’t it the duty of the Commissioners to catch the errors and correct the assessed values? Isn’t that the purpose of the appeal process and the spot checks (if we had them)? Right now, we as taxpayers have neither an appeal process or spot checks.  Not one appeal has been approved and not one spot check has been completed. No one is checking on the assessor.

I ask both the City Commissioners and the County Commissioners at their next meetings to revisit my assessed values based on the evidence I have provided and correct them. I ask the County to revisit my settlement offer. You may say it is too late, but I would like to point out that the assessor was over 30 days late getting his assessments out so there was just not enough time to get the appraisal for the hearing even though I had ordered it six weeks earlier. The appraisal is about 150 pages.  Let’s make Spot Checks mandatory and let’s stop over assessments and let’s settle this.

A special comment to Ken Zanders, (Vice Chairman). I believe your comment at the June hearing was, “I don’t care as long as everyone is treated the same.” It is not all right or okay that all properties are over assessed in the name of equal treatment. In fact, it is against the law. All properties are to be listed on the tax rolls at their true and full fair market value. That does not mean over assessed!

P.S. I want to thank the City Commissioners for at least trying. Especially commissioners Fridrich and Oltmans who at least questioned the veracity of the assessor’s values. If you haven’t please take less than 4 minutes and watch the video.   Over Assessments. Let me also point out the assessor tried to justify his over assessed values with rents of $2,500 to $2,900 per month when my rents are $450 to $600. As I have said before the assessor seems to be suffering from OBDS (Oil Boom Derangement Syndrome.)

End of email to Commissioners

We are working to get true and full fair market assessments using the courts and the legislative process with proposed changes to the law. We are calling for mandatory spot checks of assessed values by licensed independent appraisers. Please help Stop Over Assessments.  Our goal is set up spot check on the assessor’s values so they cannot over assess our homes, our apartments or our commercial property at just what ever they want.  Right now, as you can see mine are over assessed 100% and more compared to the  appraisal. It is just not right!  100% over assessed. Wow!

It might be helpful if you sent a comment about how you feel about properties being  over assessed. The Chairman is Jay Elkin  The Mayor is Scott Decker 

You don’t have to live in Dickinson to make a comment, over assessments happen everywhere and they are just not right. We can only stop it if we stand up. Most state have an appeal process that works but in Dickinson not one appeal has been approved in 3 years, not one. The assessor is always 100% right, no matter how much proof is or has been presented. I presented income and expenses, independent appraisals, and comparable sales. As you watched on the video every City Commissioner agreed my values were wrong but the County made no changes leaving them 100% over assessed.

Social Media can help fix this so please post the video and tweet and retweet the link…nel/UCYgse9Lk0vcpK6nuOdNov6A to it. Please let all your friends know. We need to let the City and County officials know over assessing property as a way of paying their bills is not acceptable. Help me stop over assessments for everyone, who wants their home over assessed?

If you want to contribute to the cause go to but to be honest the best way to help is send the link to all your friends and give it a thumbs up plus let the Mayor and the Chairman of the County Board of equalization know how you feel about over assessments. They are a form of theft and should not be allowed. Also, if the assessor knows they are still 10% over assessed as he stated in the video then why has he not corrected them, plus if he knew they were up to 60% over assessed in the past why did he deny it at the appeal hearings? It just doesn’t make sense unless there is corruption in the process and the system. We want to change that with mandatory independent spot checks of values.

Let me quote from Don’t Squat with your Spurs On, A Cowboy’s Guide to Life, “COMIN’ AS CLOSE TO THE TRUTH as a man can come without actually gettin’ there is comin’ pretty close, but it still ain’t the truth.” page 129.  

We need honesty, integrity and transparency.  We need true and full fair market value assessments for our homes, our apartments and our commercial property. Tenants and renters, listen up, this concerns you also because excesses taxes gets passed along to you in higher rents.

Thank you

Carlos Royal

P.S. No owls this year. Only bluebirds, kestrels and rabbits.









Here is a link to a post on my continuing battle to get honest and true fair market real estate value assessments in Dickinson, North Dakota. My assessments are not off 15% or 20%. No, they are off by 100% to 634% based on independent fair market value evaluations. They raise the values to match the oil boom but have refused to lower them to match the oil bust. Apartment boom has been over since 2013. All I have asked for is for them to list my properties on the tax rolls at their true and full fair market value as per the law. 100% of all property appeals have been denied in Dickinson.

I have offered a very simple solution. Just order an independent appraisal of one of my properties to spot check the assessment value. If they are 100% sure the assessor’s value is correct, why not order an independent appraisal and shut me up? I think they are afraid of the truth! I even offered to pay for the appraisal.

We have no Owls. I have not even seen one fly over this year. We do have kestrels plus a killdeer nesting with 4 eggs.

Austin is doing great and says, “Hi” to everyone. Ashley has gone into real estate and has just closed her first sale. Wahoooo!

Donna and I are doing great and loving life. We watched the girls NCCA college basketball championships on TV. What fun they were!

All the best

Work of Art

March 18, 2018

This was hand carved by long time friend and old Navy buddy of mine that lives in Virginia, Cliff Campbell. He has always been a master woodworker. He is the one that showed me how to make a sculptured rocking chair some years ago. Today he has turned his talent to wood carving and as you can see he is becoming a real master at that too.

“Is It Clear?” by Cliff Campbell


Sculptured Rocking Chair “Sculpture-in-Walnut” by Carlos Royal

We had a little fun with the Sculptured Rocking Chair and asked “Why should a functional object be worth less than a useless object called art?

                                         Sculpture-in Walnut


Have a great day!

Carlos Royal




Real Estate Tax Revolt

January 16, 2018

I keep getting emails asking me what am I doing? What am I doing? Well, Donna and I should be relaxing on the beach and enjoying life but no, I am in a battle with the Tax Assessor in Dickinson, North Dakota. Basically, they raised our assessment 200% to 400% during the oil boom but have refused to reduce them after the oil bust. The assessments are so high and out of line that the taxes are more than the net operating incomes.

I know this has nothing to do with owls or Molly but since you wanted to know this is what I am doing. Leading a fight for all commercial property owners in Dickinson. Plus we do not have any owls in our owl box but it does look like we will have Kestrels again this year.

All the best.


Join The Fight Against Over Assessments,

Arbitrary and capricous actions by the Assessor and Commissioners

Every commercial property in Dickinson was independently appraised to make sure assessments were raised when the market boomed.

 Why do the Commissioners refuse to do the same when the market has crashed?

 They raised our assessed values 200% to 400%, some even more.

 Every Commercial Property owner in Dickinson should join this fight to get their property assessments adjusted to today’s market values.

 How do we know our assessments are wrong?

 Many property owners, including myself, have submitted independent appraisals showing their properties well below their assessed values, some as much as 50% to 75% below what the assessor has them assessed for.

 How have the Commissioners responded to these independent appraisals by the owners?

 100% of all property appeals have been denied! 

 If the Commissioners don’t believe or want to challenge the owners’ appraisals, why haven’t they ordered their own independent appraisals like they did to raise the values?

 How many owners and independent appraisers licensed by the state of North Dakota does it take to prove our assessments are wrong?

The law states our properties are to be listed on the tax rolls at their true and full fair market value. It also states it is the duty of the Commissioners to see they are listed correctly.

 Why are they not checking the values now with independent appraisals?

 Are the hearings fixed? Are the outcomes known in advance? With 100% of the appeals denied it appears so!

Why have the Commissioners acted in such capricious, arbitrary and unreasonable manner at the hearings? 

 If they acted any other way they would have to lower assessed values.

 It is the same reason they have rejected all proof of reduced values submitted by owners. 100% of property owners’ appeals have been denied!

Are the City and County Commissioners derelict in their duty to make sure that properties are listed on the tax roll at their true and full fair market values? 

Where is the oversight of the Assessor? 

Has the Assessor mislead the Commissioners? 

How do they know the Assessor hasn’t mislead them, if they don’t spot check and verify with independent appraisals like they did when the market boomed?

We call for the Commissioners to hire an independent appraiser to spot check all the values challenged by owners in Dickinson since 2015.

I know my properties are not listed on the tax rolls at their true full fair market values as required by law. 

 How am I so sure of this?

 I know because I had my properties independently appraised. I know because of comparable sales. I know because my income and expenses don’t support my assessed values. I know because I have been buying and selling real estate for over 50 years, 32 of those years as an investor in Dickinson.

 According to the appraisals, some of my properties are 100% to 200% over assessed. What about yours? Are they over assessed too? Are you also being over taxed? Time for action!

If you own commercial property (including retail, motel, hotel, or apartments) in Dickinson, and your property is over assessed, you are being over taxed and should join us.

Our goal is to have our property values lowered to their true fair market values.

 Today’s values not yesterday’s oil boom prices.    

 We ask the Commissioners or court appointed independent commission go back and review the independent appraisals and data supplied by the property owners in years 2015, 2016, 2017. If the Commissioners have questions about the values presented by the owners, then the Commissioners must hire an independent appraiser to check all those values challenged by the owners. So far, the Commissioners have just taken the word of the Assessor 100% of the time without independent appraisal proof that the owner’s submitted market value is not correct. The Assessor uses a Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal System not even designed to get the value of every property right. The Commissioners should expect errors. That is what the appeal system is for, to catch the errors. But that is not what is happening because the Commissioners are denying relief to the owners 100% of the time. It is blatantly obvious that the Commissioners are not considering the data and independent appraisals supplied by the property owners.

 If you feel your property is over assessed, please contact me. It is only when we get our assessed values right will the taxes we pay be fair, equitable and just. Currently, they are unfair, inequitable and unjust.

You can reach me by email

  1. You can ask to join the legal fight if you feel your property is over assessed. Go to:
  2. You can volunteer to help. Organizational skills, email, social media, attend Commissioner and Court hearings.
  3. You can show your support with a donation. 100% of the money goes to the legal fund.

I am 75 years old and if you feel like I do, that the government should not steal our money with over assessments, that our property should be listed on the tax rolls at its true market value, not some past inflated oil boom price, then you can help in this legal battle by sending a check to Carlos Royal, Office, 1156 21st St W, Dickinson, ND 58601, on the memo line write Legal Fees, or you can go online to the secure website and make a donation. Large or small. You can also leave a comment or share your story of over assessment. We would love to hear from you.

 To show I am dedicated to this Dickinson, Stark County Tax Revolt, I will personally match total contributions up to the first $25,000 raised. Our goal is to raise $50,000 for the hard costs of litigation. I have agreed to fund half, if you will help fund the other half.

 To discuss your property’s value to see if it may be assessed too high, contact Mike Wedl at . Mike is a former county assessor and is the President & CEO of USAPTA, Inc. and Pinpoint Property Tax Finder software. He will discuss your property with you so that you can decide if you are being over assessed and over taxed.


September 26, 2017

I would like to thank everyone for their comments.

I have not changed my opinion nor my pledge to boycott the NFL and their games on TV. For me, as a veteran, it is about respect and honor for our Country, our Flag and those that gave everything for this country in current and past years.  I find the player’s behavior as it relates to our National Anthem and Flag offensive and therefore I have chosen not to watch. The players can do whatever they want, but that does not mean I have to watch or support them. Just as they feel they have a right, I and all fans have a right to let them know we do not agree with their behavior.

Comment:  As far as I know, FREE SPEECH and the right to PROTEST is not protected by the first amendment in the work place or on private property. I don’t know of any company/workplace where it is okay to show up and preach your personal religion and/or your personal politics. Free Speech is protected on your own time and in a public place. I am not saying one can’t do it, I am just pointing out that it is not protected by the first amendment and there could be consequences. Like getting fired by your boss.  This issue is not about free speech or the right to protest. The players, like all Americans, have those rights because veterans have given their lives to protect those rights for all Americans.

Show respect and honor our Country, “Standup for America.”

Boycott The NFL

September 24, 2017

I have decided to boycott the NFL and not watch anymore NFL games on TV or go to any of their games. I have been a fan for over 50 years. I have also decided to let their sponsors know I will not be buying their products either. Disrespect for America and it’s flag is just not acceptable behavior that I want to watch.

Stand up for America!



Click on photo or here

This is just to give you an update since so many have been asking. We do not have any owls but we are getting lots of rain so if the food supply increases we might just see some owls either later in the year or next year. Only time will tell.

Donna and I are doing great and attended the 2015 International MOD Meet in Minneapolis this past year.  It was fantastic! Austin is working with the San Diego Airport making videos and graphic advertising designs, so over the holidays we thought we would have some fun and make a video for Macadamia Nut lovers.  I had ordered 17 lbs of in the shell macadamia nuts from Hawaii. The question was how do you crack them?

When I looked on the internet I couldn’t find an easy way or tool to crack a macadamia nut for less than about $100. The tool I recommend, you might already have in your garage or you can pick one up at most hardware stores for less than $15. I don’t want to take all the credit. My barber, Gary Favron, actually recommended it. If you like the video pass it on. Who knows, maybe we can get a million hits.

We wish everyone a Fun and Fantastic 2016!

Carlos, Donna and Austin

P.S. Let us know what you think of the video.

The IMM15 Broadcast and Auction has been moved to 8 PM Central Time.  I estimate the broadcast will last less than an hour since we will be using my iPhone and it will run down fast.

Join in the fun, join the bidding. It is for a good cause, The MODs Foundation supporting wildlife but also helping others. An approved 503 Charity.

Carlos and Donna Royal

We will try to broadcast the Wing Ding and Auction using my iPhone. A matching signed set of photos of Molly and McGee will be Auctioned off for the MODs Foundation Charity.

For details

Join the fun. We think the auction will be around 6:15 PM Central Time.

Carlos and Donna Royal

banner jpeg

How many times have you wanted to do or go someplace but didn’t and later regretted it? My son and I had this conversion last week as we reminisced about all the fun things we did together when he was kid.  “A lot of good memories,” he said.

Later after thinking about it, I sent him this text message.

There is a lesson to be learned from this conversation. Do fun things and you will have good memories.”

His reply: “That is a good lesson.”

Check the flights, scan the train schedules, book your hotel suite and join us for this fabulous event!

Create good memories!

Here are the links for the MOD Meet related sites and merchandise:

For all the meet information, registration, airfare, train, hotel and discounts, go to:

To purchase MODs tshirts, go to:

To purchase an “I need coffee…” mug:

For The MODs Foundation, and to make a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation, go to:

Time is going quickly and the hotel discount expires soon, so make your plans now to join us for a fun and fabulous weekend.

Post Note: After my son and I had that conversation we booked a fishing trip and bought tickets to an up coming Chargers football game. We decided to create more good memories together and see if going forward we can’t drop all the reasons why we can’t.

What I have found in life is there are always reasons why one can’t or shouldn’t do something, but if you want to have good memories you just do them anyway. See you in Minneapolis.

Carlos Royal