I want to ask you a question. Do you have the right to own property in this country? I’m not talking about a cell phone, clothing, and so forth. What I am mean is, do you have the right to own land?
The reason I ask this is that most people believe that we do own property in this country. When you buy a home, you not only pay for the house, but you pay for the land. Therefore, if you pay for it, you must own it, right? The answer is no, unfortunately, and here’s why.
First, let’s begin with a typical home purchase. Most people don’t have enough money to pay for a home outright. They usually get a mortgage from a bank and pay it off over 30 years. During that time if you stop paying your mortgage the bank will eventually foreclose on the property and take it away.
Why do they have that right? They have that right because they still own it until the day you fulfill the contract and pay off the mortgage. The day after you paid the mortgage off the bank has no right or authority to foreclose. They have no ownership or interest in the property.
At this point, most people would now say they own property, but most people are wrong. The reason they are wrong is you will never stop paying. You might have stopped paying the bank, but you never stop paying the government.
You see, when you pay property tax what you are doing is paying the government to lease the land from them. Like the bank, if you stop paying the mortgage they will foreclose on you. In the same way, you stop paying your property tax the government will come and seize your property and auction it off.
Why does the government have the right to do this? The reason is that you don’t own the land. All you did was spend a lot of money to acquire the right in order to lease the land from the government. The government is the sovereign land owner of every single piece of land property in America.
For this reason alone, is why I abhor property tax above every other tax. I understand a sales tax or an income tax. I understand the need for the government to collect money to provide services. I’m okay with that. But I’m not okay with is paying taxes on the same thing over and over again.
If you want to add a one-time tax like a stamp duty, that is reasonable and something we can argue over what the percentage should be. But you can’t tell me that it is moral and right for the government to come and seize a person’s property because they can’t afford to pay their property tax. Kick them out of their home and keep most if not all of the value of the property.
For instance, according to Kelly Phillips Erb from Forbes, in 2011 in Pennsylvania, a widow with three children named Eileen Battisti lost her home because in 2008 she did not pay interest of $6.30 for being late eight days on her property tax payment. By 2011, with fees and cost that 2008 property tax bill ballooned to $255.84. Therefore, the county seized and sold her property for nearly $120,000. She was lucky in the sense that she was entitled to $108,039 after taxes and costs were deducted from the sale. But we don’t know what the value of the home was, what happens if the house was worth $250,000? The new owner got the deal of the century. The government got their money and change. The only person that got hurt was Eileen Battisti and her fatherless children and all for $6.30.
In some counties around the country, you are not even entitled to any money back after a sale. You could own a million dollar home, and the government can sell it for $500,000 and keep that entire amount.
You see just how immoral and wrong property tax is. It deprives you of your rights to own property. It also fundamentally changes the structure of who is sovereign in this great country of ours. I thought, “We The People” were the sovereign in this country. I thought were supposed to be a People with a Government, instead of a Government with a People.
As conservatives, we fight to conserve principles that have been proven to be the best for man and the human condition. Unfortunately, our Founding Fathers didn’t get everything right. They were imperfect like us. Even though they had property taxes doesn’t mean they were right in doing so.
In days of our Founding Fathers, they would not have been called Conservatives. They were Liberals or known today as Classical Liberals. Their ideas and philosophies were brilliant, and that is why we call ourselves conservatives because we wish to conserve these principles.
On property taxes, we cannot be conservatives. We must be Classical Liberals and fight to enlighten the American people on the evils of property tax, and if we are to be a country of the people, by the people, and for the people then we must fight to take our property back from the government and once and for all abolish property taxes in this country.
Cross posted at Resurrecting Conservatism