Sleeping Real Estate

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How much do you value your side of the bed? Recent reports indicate many people put a high price on what’s known in the mattress industry as “sleeping real estate.” Now tax assessors are wondering if they’re missing out on a potential source of revenue.

“We went undercover to investigate,” says Snooz Ulose, a spokesperson for the national property appraiser’s association. “The size of this untaxed market is a real eye-opener.”

Most of America’s land has long been platted, readily identifiable and easily taxed. But the dark world of sleeping real estate somehow managed to slip between the bed slats.

Kicking the covers off may be a slow process. Even the most ardent pursuers of this potential new tax source are leery of peeking through the bedroom door. The biggest question: How to satisfactorily resolve the problem of valuation. Allowing taxpayers to set values could result in rampant cheating. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the thought of wrestling with formal appraisals is causing sleepless nights for many assessors.

Still, proponents say the sheets of change are coming. “We’ve been snoozing,” says one appraiser. “But we’re not going to roll over on this issue any longer.”

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