"Mistrust those in whom the urge to punish is strong." Friedrich Nietzche

"Any and all non-violent, non-coercive, non-larcenous, consensual adult behavior that does not physically harm other people or their property or directly and immediately endangers same, that does not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance, and that is done in private, especially on private property, is the inalienable right of all adults. In a truly free and liberty-loving society, ruled by a secular government, no laws should be passed to prohibit such behavior. Any laws now existing that are contrary to the above definition of inalienable rights are violations of the rights of adults and should be made null and void." D. M. Mitchell (from The Myth of Inalienable Rights, at: http://dowehaverights.blogspot.com/)

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Myth of Rights: Property Taxes

When it comes to buying real estate, you can never truly and fully own that property. Property tax is the reason why. If you pay off the mortgage, if you own the property free and clear, you will still have to pay an annual tax on that property, merely for owning it. If you don't pay that tax, the government will take it away from you...and government agents will use deadly force if necessary. So, in reality, the property that you think you own you are actually renting from the government. The government is the true owner.

But, you say, the government needs money to operate and property taxes are a major source of their revenues. Sure, but just how much government do we need? If you have an automobile and use the roads, okay then, gasoline tax and vehicle registration tax to pay for the roads is fine by me. If you use the city water, sewer, and waste removal services, then fine, a tax for services rendered is great. Same for the police and fire departments, which we may not always need, but definitely want to be there when we do need those services. And, if you, or your children are going to school, you have to pay. There is no such thing as a free lunch (TINSTAAFL). By all that is logical and right, those who use the government provided services should pay for them, but for nothing more. (This could be a way to reduce the size of government and governmental waste.)

I'm not against a sales tax on property. After all, if I buy a shirt I will pay a sales tax. But I won't pay it again the next year merely for owning that shirt, so why should real estate be taxed indefinitely just because it exists? And then there is the issue of retired people on fixed incomes not being able to afford to pay the ever-increasing property tax on their paid-off real estate and having to sell the home they have lived in for 40 or 50 years, one in which they raised their children and put a lot of tender loving care into.

"Yeah, that's right old folks. You have to sell your home and move to some crappy apartment...and we don't give a sh**, because we are the taxmen...we are the government...and we actually own this place. So, pack up and get out, or we'll throw you out!"

Hey! That's happened...many times.

A sales tax on real estate could be high, in the double digits, and could be paid in yearly amounts over the length of the mortgage. Examples: Real estate = $100,000 times 75% = $75,000 divided by 30 years = $2500 per year. $200,000 times 75% = $150,000 divided by 30 years = $5,000 per year. $500,000 times 75% = $375,000 divided by 30 years = $12,500 per year. And, of course, if a house gets sold for a higher price--and real estate values always go up over time--then the tax gets refigured to the new, higher amount.

But--and this is a very important but in a truly free and liberty-loving society--if and when the mortgage is paid off, and the taxes paid too, then the real estate should be free and clear and the owner should truly be the owner of that property. It would be a "freehold." Is this likely to happen? Hell no! And that, my friends, is why I say that the concept of "rights" is only a myth. If you cannot freely own property without fear of the government taking it away from you because of an on-going, never-ending tax lien, then you really don't own that property and you will never have that "right"...among others.

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