Property Rights was the very basis and underlying principle that led to the American Revolution. Inspired by the writings of men like John Locke our founders rallied behind the belief that the right to property and the right to be secure in property was among the most fundamental of all human rights.
“… whenever the Legislators endeavor to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any farther Obedience” – John Locke
They believed that Property Rights were inseparable from Individual Freedom and Liberty; that one could not exist without the other.
While our founders agreed that the fruit of all labor was property, they also paid singular attention to property in the form of land ownership. For the purposes of this article we need to draw a distinction between income and sales tax, which is also a tax on the property of your labor and industry contrasted to a tax on physical land in the form of real estate referred to as Property Tax.
Both income and sales tax are one time taxes based on a defined amount. With Income the amount earned can be clearly determined and a portion of that is taxed, supposedly to fund the necessities of Government.
Likewise, a Sales Tax is based on a specific and determined amount of money and it is a one time tax applied at the time of purchase.
The tax on Real Estate called the Property Tax is applied whether the property earns income for the property owner or not. It is not based on a defined percentage of the income received, nor is it defined by the actual cost of the purchase. It is also not a one time tax.
Property Taxes are based on an assessed value of property determined by an appointed agency hired by your local government and based on a system that can never be accurate. While identifying the assessment as the Fair Market Value of the property we find that this can never be the case because Fair Market Value can only be determined by a price established by a willing buyer and a willing seller. Since neither are part of a county-wide assessment, there can be no real Fair Market Value. Property Taxes are then based on a guess of property worth. If the guess too high than you will be taxed on property you do not own. If they guess too low, you will not be paying taxes on property you do own and this we have somehow legally determined to be a fair and uniform form of taxation.
Property Taxes will also exceed the actual value of a property. Since Property Taxes are extracted each year the total accumulation of taxes extracted from that property in a lifetime will surpass the actual property worth. No other tax does this.
In times of recession as markets fluctuate and property value often decreases it is rare that the actual Property Tax will decrease as well. Instead the millage rate is increased and the common level ratio used to determine property tax increases as well. This ratio is determined by an unelected agency which implements this rate on a county by county basis regardless of where you live in the county. One part of a county might be experiencing a greater impact from a recession than another but that becomes irrelevant. When it is factored and an average is established, the average will understandably require the harder hit area to pay more while the area less affected will pay less. Again, this is supposedly determined to be a fair form of taxation.
In order for Property Taxes to be even remotely equitable, property reassessments should be conducted every few years. This is not the case. The cost of conducting a county wide reassessment every three to five years is to prohibitive to most local governments. The local government knows that they must take out a bond to fund a reassessment and that fund is paid for through the Property Tax. The State Government knows the burden this places on the local government which is why, in the state of Pennsylvania, the year following an assessment, local government is allowed to increase Property taxes at a higher rate than they are at other times. Once implemented and once the bond is actually paid for, residents rarely see a decrease in their property taxes. If reassessments were conducted every 3 to 5 years we would only see greater increases.
Since the majority of business pays a property tax, the cost of the goods and services that business provides is also impacted. Since your local grocery store or retailer does not manufacture their goods, they buy from other companies that do. Those companies also purchase the things they need to manufacture their products from other companies. There are also shipping companies and Distribution centers involved all of them paying property tax and all of those taxes impacting the cost of the goods and services we purchase. While we would cringe at a sales tax on the necessary items of food, clothing and prescription medication we do not think twice about imposing a property tax on the companies and retailers who supply these essential needs which indirectly impacts the cost of those goods. While we do not tax the essential needs of food and we would scream in repulsion of such a concept we don’t think twice about taxing the land the farmer uses to grow the food or raise the livestock, again impacting the cost of these items.
Property Taxes have far exceeded their original intention. Flawed from their inception, property taxes now result in countless people across America losing a lifetime of investment simply because the government has taxed them beyond their ability to pay. In the state of Pennsylvania alone it is estimated that 10,000 people are affected each year by this seizure of property. There is no way of accounting for all those who are forced to sell their home against their will because their property taxes have exceeded their ability to pay nor is there any way to account for the number of individuals who simply choose to abandon their property because they can no longer afford the property tax. In the case of abandoned property, this directly impacts the property tax for the remaining property owners until that property is sold and the back taxes are paid. Since it often takes 2 to 3 years of delinquent taxes before a property is seized the loss of the revenue from the delinquent property owners is born by those who are paying resulting in higher property taxes for everyone.
This would have been intolerable to our founders but many Americans turn a blind eye to these abuses of the power of taxation that is paramount to tyranny.
In granting non-governing bodies (your local school board) a taxing authority and then removing reasonable forms of checks and balances to oversee or regulate their spending they have violated the very structure of our government as established under our Constitution. Our founders understood that election to office alone was not a sufficient check or balance to government and they created a system of government where laws and taxation had to go through two legislative and an executive branch before they could be laid upon the people. Not so with our school boards. Election to office alone is the sole check to the school board in their powers of taxation. In many areas across the state citizens have risen up to replace their school board directors only to find little to change under the new administration and often for very good reason. The regulatory power of non-elected agencies through unfunded mandates and the lure of grants money that cost more to sustain than the local body receives. This has resulted in a system of taxation where schools now claim to require three times the revenue from property tax as our local and county governments combined while at the same time receiving more than $5.4 billion in total education spending across the commonwealth. All other departments of local government must first submit a budget which is then reviewed and voted upon by either municipal or county government. Not the school districts.
As James Madison explained in The Federalist Papers No. 10 “No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time; yet what are many of the most important acts of legislation, but so many judicial determinations, not indeed concerning the rights of single persons, but concerning the rights of large bodies of citizens? …. The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice. Every shilling with which they overburden the inferior number, is a shilling saved to their own pockets.”
“It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests, and render them all subservient to the public good. Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. Nor, in many cases, can such an adjustment be made at all without taking into view indirect and remote considerations, which will rarely prevail over the immediate interest which one party may find in disregarding the rights of another or the good of the whole.”
The reckless spending of one unchecked school board cannot be undone simply by replacing them. The debts they incurred must be paid and that debt can be a burden for many years. The election process might give you people willing to be far more frugal but the previous debt lingers and will hinder the newer more frugal directors from implementing any substantive relief to the local property owner.
As more people become aware of their local school boards infringement and abuses more people are seeking the office of school board director. When this happens state and federal teachers unions begin to pour money into these elections in ways to support hand picked candidates that will choose to ignore the voice of the people. The challenging, non-union supported candidates can often not compete in these elections and sadly, the local school board is often a neglected part of most election cycles. Few residents attend local school board meetings and fewer yet can tell you the names of the school board directors or know if there is any conflicting interests in these individuals.
In establishing non-elected bodies to impose regulations, mandates and fees imposed through local property taxes we have returned to a system of taxation without representation. These non-elected bodies function in ways to further regulate and even eliminate local control. This then allows elected state representatives to claim they are not increasing taxation while pushing increases in taxation down to the local level through Property Taxes.
Act 22 of the Pennsylvania Code deals with Education. Section one deals mostly with Standards and Achievement all regulating public education for K through 12th grade. This is more than 1500 pages and does not include pensions, contracts, implementation of No Child Left Behind, etc. Nor does this 1500 hundred pages include the regulations of private, charter, or homeschooling. The justifiable outcry of anger against the Affordable Patient and Healthcare Act which exceeded 2000 pages of rules, regulations and policy that would impact taxation for all Americans sent people in droves to the Nation’s Capital. That 2000 pages covered every living person in America from the cradle to the grave and upon learning of the implication of the impact on taxations the outcry only grew louder. As Nancy Pelosi explained that we had to pass the bill before we could know what was in it she was openly and justifiably ridiculed at the stupidity of her statement.
Few are even aware of the over-reaching regulatory control that impacts higher property taxes but even upon learning that similar regulatory acts exist of greater size if all aspects of public education are included and that these regulatory abuses concerns only students in the public school system in Pennsylvania there is barely a response. In fact the silence on this sort of abuse is almost deafening.
True local control concerning public education is a myth. Education is controlled by the Federal Department of Education and the State Board of Education coupled with School Board Associations who consist mostly of members who are sympathetic to the powerful State and Federal Teacher’s Union. When negotiations at the local level break down a Governor appointed board reviews the contract and makes recommendations. These recommendations are not permitted to be revealed to the public until the conflict is resolved. Through countless administrations the members of this board have consistently been friendly advocates of the Teacher’s Union. This is in part because many of elected representatives are far more concerned about the concerns of those who fund their campaigns than they are with the people who actually vote for them. The Party who can motivate the most voters will win the next election and after that very little changes legislatively.
When you are going through a difficult recession and you live in a city that is bankrupt and the Teacher’s Unions still demand a 16% pay raise and a refusal to accept any accountability for their own failures in the education process, how can we even remotely begin to think this is about the children or about actual education? The strike will send thousands of children to empty homes or force parents to either stay home from work (at least those that do work) or to pay sitter expenses. The longer the strike the greater the urging to settle takes place with little regard on how this will impact Property Taxes or the cost of living in an already bankrupt city.
As if all this wasn’t enough the Property Tax is now used to implement abusive and despotic ordinances meant to claim even more authority over our privately owned land. The high cost of Property Tax has resulted in relief efforts although such relief is little more than a tool used to force the surrender of properties to more government control and regulation, the implementation of which requires even more Property Taxes.
In all cases the funding mechanism that has allowed for these abuses to come into being and to continue to exist is the Property Tax. I find it incredulous to believe that you can rise in opposition to any of the issues that have arisen because the property tax exists while still remaining ignorant of the need to put an end to Property Taxation.
We argue the healthcare issue with one side claiming the right to healthcare and the other claiming the right to decide for themselves. When it comes to Property Rights the silence is broken only the sound of crickets chirping.
We argue Right To Work divided between the right to choose to be in a union or the right for the Union to choose for us. We shout this is what Democracy looks like forgetting that we are a Constitutional Republic. When it comes to Property Rights though, it seems even the crickets are silent.
We debate “right to choose” when it comes to the murder of the most innocent among us: One side claiming the right to choose while the other claiming the right of all to Life. As our founders stated, denying the right to property is directly related to the right to life. When we lose the ability to discern between what is truly ours from what falls into the hands of government we become little more than slaves to the tyranny of government. This is not Life, it is not Liberty and it eliminates the ability to pursuit property. This is merely existence, slavery and the absence of any ownership to any property.
We forget that the notion that allowed this thinking that was rejected by our founders in the first place was the Property Tax. It was Property Tax that moved us from Individual and Sovereign Rights into the collective mentality that permeates society and has moved us from being a republic to becoming a democracy; the fruit of which has yielded open and wide-spread socialism.
Today, being secure in our property has come to mean paying a tribute to government. The abuse of this tribute can be seen in the countless rules, regulations and mandates imposed on local governments and funded through the property tax. The abuse of this tribute can also be seen in runaway government spending.
There are those who point to this and say that this is the real problem. Here in central Pennsylvania Dutch speak we understand that this is merely putting the cart in front of the horse. These are symptoms of a disease. It is like the individual recognizing they are overweight and then claiming that the problem is gaining weight without considering that the reason they gain weight is the easy access to unlimited or unhealthy food. Spending and mandates are the results of the disease but the disease is Property Tax. Until the disease is cured by removing it from the body of government, some of the problems may temporarily go away but rest assured these problems will only return at some future point in time.
As long as property taxes remain we are little more than serfs in a governmental kingdom. Property must be returned to the land owner and the infringements against land ownership must be eliminated from Government. Today, the amount of property taxes you will pay on your home in a lifetime will exceed the actual value of your property. While your personal property may generate no real income for you, the government demands their tribute annually or they seize your home.
As Madison explained in Federalist No. 10 “It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests, and render them all subservient to the public good. Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.” The minute the enlightened Statesmen are gone the self-interests and self-serving will simply return us to the former abuses unless we eliminate the ability to do so.
As exemplified by the following quotes, which offers only a brief glimpse at the sentiments of our founders on property in relation to land ownership, you can begin to see where our founders stood on this issue. I recommend you read more of what they had to say on this issue but to include it all would turn this document, which is already very long into volumes. The point is that you are either standing with the Founders and the vision of a free America or you are willing to surrender your sovereign right of property ownership to be a servant of the government. In doing so you are contributing to moving America in a different direction than was envisioned by our Founders.
“Now, one of the most essential branches of English liberty is the freedom of one’s house. A man’s house is his castle;”- James Otis
“No power on earth has a right to take our property from us without our consent.” – John Jay
“Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; secondly, to liberty; thirdly to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.” –Samuel Adams
“Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty….The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.” –John Adams.
“Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death.” –James Madison
“There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience to bondage”. – John Witherspoon
“Government … should be formed to secure and enlarge the exercise of the natural rights of its members; and every government which has not this in view as its principal object is not a government of the legitimate kind….private property and personal liberty, so far as it is not forfeited by crimes, will be guarded with firmness and watchfulness.” – James Wilson
“All men are created equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing the obtaining of happiness and safety.” –George Mason
“The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management.…A right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without violating the similar rights of other sensible beings.” –Thomas Jefferson
“…we cannot be happy, without being free – that we cannot be free, without being secure in our property – that we cannot be secure in our property, if without our consent, others may, as by right, take it away…” -John Dickinson
The European migration to America was fueled by two leading factors; the right to acquire and possess property and religious freedom. For a long time the British Government did little to interfere with the American Colonies working with local elected bodies through appointed Governors. As that began to change and the rights or property were beginning to vanish the British Empire chose to regulate Colonial Life through oppressive taxation that limited their freedom, their trade, their labor, industry and the use of their land. This reached a breaking point in 1761 when, through the Writs of Assistance, homes and other property could be seized by appointed bodies without the protection of their elected legislators. For the next 14 years the colonists attempted to petition for redress against these abuses culminating in the election of a Continental Congress who at first attempted to negotiate for a peaceful resolution to the abridgments of the American Colonial right to property. It was through the 2nd Continental Congress that the word Independence was uttered and a Declaration was written declaring the reasons.
Inspired by the writing of others Thomas Jefferson penned the first draft of the Declaration which then underwent the editing by the 56 signers who gave their unanimous consent to these words:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
After listing the grievances the Declaration continues with these words:
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity.
Like our colonial forefathers we have patiently endured the struggle to return the rights of property to the land owners. Rather than yield to the elimination of Property Tax, the legislators have only offered temporary relief that has added to the tax burden of its residents while offering no relief to compensate for the rapidly growing expanse of the Property Tax burden. At the same time they have implemented exemptions for some which added to the burden for the remaining land owners. As the cost of Property Tax increased the government instituted relief that seized more control of the land away from the land owner and placed it into the hands of government as in the case of Clean and Green and then paid for this abusive relief by raising the property tax millage rates. We would now be taxed to provide tax relief.
With the encroaching pension problem created by our State Legislators-a reluctance and open resistance to deal with the problem pushes this issue to the local level to be resolved by increasing property taxes. Eliminating the Property Tax would end that ability and force the State Legislators to deal with the problem.
With the impact that the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act on State Government, the potential of shifting this burden to provide for coverage to public sectors unions can be realized through passing the burden to local government and funded through Property Taxation. Likewise, eliminating the Property Tax forces the State Government to resist the Federal Government’s efforts to control yet another aspect of our lives.
With the intrusion of Sustainable Development (Agenda 21) implemented through pressure to comply through local ordinances fueled by tax-payer funded grants we feel the impact through still higher Property Taxes coupled with an over-abundance of regulations over the use of the land we own that results in Higher Property Taxes to enforce through local law enforcement.
With the governmental abuses of grant money, regulations are used to force local governments to comply with the obligations attached to the grant which results in increases to our Property Taxes.
At the same time the burden of taxation which has made Pennsylvania one of the least friendly places to do business has resulted in less sustainable employment and more people in need of government assistance. Those who are employed must face higher tax burdens while the businesses who still employ while facing higher taxation must raise the cost of goods and services creating an even greater need for government assistance coupled with a greater inability to pay Property Taxes creating local budget shortfalls which result in higher Property Taxes.
With these issues and so much more, America is at a critical stage where our rights to property are being challenged at every station and level of government. Those challenging these rights have not embraced the ideology of our Founders nor the great political thinkers who inspired them but have chosen the different course of the ideologues who have openly embraced socialism. This we know to be a complete abandonment to the principles of a republican form of government. Perhaps the following quote by George Washington reflects the sentiment of where the property owner in Pennsylvania and across the rest of America for that matter now stands.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die.”
The struggle for American Independence paved the way for our Constitution and that Constitution was created to ensure the abuses of the tyranny of the British Empire could not raise its ugly head under America Government. Our Constitution was designed to make certain another such Declaration of Independence would never be necessary.
As Rick Lynch wrote in “Property Rights, Freedom and the Constitution it is impossible to understand the U.S. Constitution or the original Constitutions of any of the individual states without first understanding the importance of Property Rights.
To understand the rights of property in a constitutional context you must know just how important these rights were to the Framers.
As Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier explain in their book Decision in Philadelphia, those men had “an almost religious respect” for property, that “the rights of property were inviolable,” and that the Constitution itself is the embodiment of the rights of property as developed primarily by John Locke in the 17th century.
Walter B. Mead also explains in his book The United States Constitution, the Framers were favorably disposed to history’s great philosophers who held that “concerns for freedom could not be separated from concerns for property” and that the Framers knew “inadequately secured property rights could render vulnerable even the fundamental liberties of speech, press, and meaningful political participation.”
Forrest McDonald explains in his book Novus Ordo Seclorum that property rights were so important to the Framers that all but 4 of the 55 men at the Constitutional Convention placed their protection behind only liberty itself as the sacred charge of government. And of the four who disagreed on this point, three of them differed not because they valued property rights less than their fellows but because they actually “put [their] protection ahead of liberty as the main object of society.”
An analysis of the 85 essays that make up The Federalist Papers can be of great help. The Federalist Papers were used to describe the intent of the Constitution to American readers at the time of the ratification of our Constitution.
Forms of the four words “money,” “tax,” “revenue,” and “property” appear approximately 325 times in those essays. That is almost nine times as often as forms of the seven words “religion,” “speech,” “press,” “privacy,” “newspaper,” “vote” (by citizens), or “suffrage,” which occur approximately 38 times, or less than once in every two essays. Indeed, each four of the words from the first set, taken separately, appears more than the seven words in the second set combined.
Let’s look again at the words of John Adams “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.”
By the 1850’s most of the States had ignored these words by our founders and reinstated governmental authority over property in the form of Property Taxation. With the institution of Property Taxation the words of warning by Thomas Jefferson against a redistributive form of taxation were set aside and the first real violations against our Individual Liberties began to take root.
“To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association–the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” –Thomas Jefferson: Note in Tracy’s “Political Economy,” 1816.
It was the government’s assumption of an unnatural right over our Property which allowed the formation of groups, agencies, departments and bureaucracies who would abuse our individual rights to extend taxation far beyond the realm of funding the necessary functions of government but into far-reaching realms and substance all in the name of the public good.
In the governments assumption of an unnatural authority over our property they have granted themselves the ability to both search and seize our homes to fund a non-governing body with no respect to the labor and industry of the property owner in order to grant unnatural rights to others. As Thomas Jefferson explained:
“To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association—the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”
It was through Property Taxation that the shifting of America from being a Republican form of Government took place; first into a Democracy and then into a government where socialism now exists in every form and level of government.
Today we are overwhelmed with abuses of government. They are taking over our Industry, manipulating our currency, regulating our property and invading our Individual and Sovereign Rights. While much is made of the incredulous abuses of power, the rights to property garners little national attention and perhaps that is because so few are willing to stand where necessary by standing with our founding forefathers on the issue of Property Rights. Until we return true property rights to the land owners, these abuses will continue until every remnant of our Founder’s America is gone.
As it was with the American Revolution, the fight must begin in the preservation of our rights to Life, Liberty and Property.
Like the days of the American Revolution, some are rising to spread the word of true Freedom in that preservation of Life, Liberty and Property. As Otis once declared “A Man’s home is castle” others are looking back to our founders for inspiration and guidance, just as Otis looked back to men like John Locke.
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
In looking at those words from the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitutionask yourself if your School Property Taxes are reasonable anymore! Is probable cause to take away your home simply because the Teacher’s Unions want more money, better pensions and better benefits: Money, Benefits and Pensions that are beyond the scope of those who are losing their homes and many others who are struggling to keep their homes by sacrificing in other areas of their life?
Is it reasonable search and seizure of property to take a person’s home, sell it for a fraction of its worth and remove a lifetime of one person’s industry simply to support a tax that has exceeded their ability to pay?
Isn’t this the most insidious form of redistribution of wealth; to take a lifetime of investment from those who can no longer pay rent to the government to give, at a fraction of its worth, to those who can pay rent? As this continues and more and more people fall victim to the predatory Property Tax less people will own property and more property will fall into the hands of the government or to the realm of the elite few.
In the meantime they continue to appoint non-governing authorities who extend their tentacles of abuse down through our local governments where they talk about local control while simply meaning their desire of controlling the locals. They continue to breach our Property Rights in the name of Sustainable Development (the U.N.’s Agenda 21) as they further seek to relocate us all onto their Human Settlements.
The incredulous increase in Property Tax and the growing number of people defaulting on their taxes function in the same time frame as the implementation of Agenda 21. Over this 40 year period of time we have also seen the steady growth of government’s ability to force higher taxation down through Property Taxes forcing more of the middle class into rent and less ability of the poor to break free from their bondage to poverty/
The United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (HABITAT 1) was held in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1976. This conference established the United Nations policy on private property rights and produced a document that became the blueprint for comprehensive land use planning.
The preamble to the report declared that:
“Land…cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice…. Public control of land use is therefore indispensable….”
This declaration directly contradicts the principle of private property protected so vigorously by the nation’s founders and by the U.S. Constitution. Nevertheless, this document was signed by appointed representatives of the United States that included Carla A. Hills, who would become U.S. Trade Representative, and William K Reilly, who would become Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in the administration of George H.W. Bush.
Every administration since then has only furthered the ability of Sustainable development to invade our local communities and our property rights and the vessel to empower this is the Property Tax.
The report itself contains many pages of very specific recommendations, many of which are now reflected in “Yourtown 2020” Plans of Action, developed through the sustainable development process. For example, consider this recommendation from the 1976 document:
(a) Agricultural land, particularly on the periphery of urban areas, is an important national resource; without public (government) control land is prey to speculation and urban encroachment.
(b) Change in the use of land…should be subject to public (government) control and regulation.
These were radical ideas in 1976, but are now the norm, thanks to sustainable development. Another recommendation is worth noting.
(a) Excessive profits resulting from the increase in land value due to development and change in use are one of the principal causes of the concentration of wealth in private hands. Taxation should not be seen only as a source of revenue for the community but also as a powerful tool to encourage development of desirable locations, to exercise a (governmental) controlling effect on the land market and to redistribute to the public at large the benefits of the unearned increase in land values.
(b) The unearned increment resulting from the rise in land values resulting from change in use of land, from public investment or decision or due to the general growth of the community must be subject to appropriate recapture by public (government) bodies.
The titling of the document “Yourtown 2020” coordinates itself to the “Constitution 2020” movement which seeks to eliminate our U.S. Constitution and replace it with an entirely new document. Many in this current administration have been instrumental in the formation of this movement so is it any wonder that we have seen the rapid advancement of this agenda.
As Pat Dollard writes “Those who adhere to Obama’s view of a flawed Constitution believe that one of its ‘glaring oversights’ is the failure to address economic and social justice, i.e., the redistribution of wealth…”
When, as the U.N report states, that property ownership is social injustice, the elimination of the document that was created to protect the right to property must be eliminated. The primary way to this is to overburden local government through regulation making Property Tax payment unsustainable and then to have the government take possession of all property and the Constitution is gone and the global governance of Agenda 21 in in place. If you think this is conspiratorial thinking than perhaps you are unfamiliar with these words of warning from John Adams in 1787
“Suppose a nation, rich and poor, high and low, ten millions in number, all assembled together; not more than one or two millions will have lands, houses, or any personal property; if we take into the account the women and children, or even if we leave them out of the question, a great majority of every nation is wholly destitute of property, except a small quantity of clothes, and a few trifles of other movables.”
“Would Mr. Nedham be responsible that, if all were to be decided by a vote of the majority, the eight or nine millions who have no property, would not think of usurping over the rights of the one or two millions who have? Property is surely a right of mankind as really as liberty. Perhaps, at first, prejudice, habit, shame or fear, principle or religion, would restrain the poor from attacking the rich, and the idle from usurping on the industrious; but the time would not be long before courage and enterprise would come, and pretexts be invented by degrees, to countenance the majority in dividing all the property among them, or at least, in sharing it equally with its present possessors. Debts would be abolished first; taxes laid heavy on the rich, and not at all on the others; and at last a downright equal division of every thing be demanded, and voted. What would be the consequence of this? The idle, the vicious, the intemperate, would rush into the utmost extravagance of debauchery, sell and spend all their share, and then demand a new division of those who purchased from them.”
“The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet,’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal,’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.”
Is this the America you were raised to respect? Is this the American Dream…Governmental control over all privately owned land? None of this can be stopped until we return true property ownership to the land owners.
This is your land, your home and your investment in that land and home. A home is a lifetime of investment all being dismissed by those who preach the amenities of socialism while seeking to devour the labor and industry of its people as the endeavor for total control and tyranny.
None of this would be possible if we had not willfully surrendered our property rights and had chosen not to resist the government’s unjust and unconstitutional claim to be the landlords of our property all in the name of the public welfare.
“If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress…. Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.” –James Madison
Until we kill the property tax, nothing will really change. The majority of our legislators are not brave enough to take such a stand and it requires the courage of we the people to make that stand for them. To once again explain to them that governments derive their power from the consent of the governed. Their campaigns may be funded through the donations of special interest and corporate concerns, but the power of government must be returned to the consent of the people and in order to do that we must restore our Sovereign rights to the land we own.
Once we do so and then follow through with a pledge to defend against future encroachments of our rights to Property the other abuses will begin to collapse as a principle source of revenue used to empower these abuses is eliminated.
So this is the question. Do you stand with the founders and their vision for America or do you stand with Socialists who believe that all property is public property and no individual has a right to own property?
Will you stand for Freedom and Independence or will you fall in submission to tyranny and oppression?
Do you believe in a Government that exists to serve the people in the protection of the Rights of the people or do you believe in a people that exists to be servants of their government in the protection and perpetuation of the government’s power?
As Washington said, “The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them.”