From the Keene Free Press: “Property Taxes are Communism”
What better way to welcome someone to the area than with a huge property tax bill? I just bought some property in Keene, NH and what’s the first thing I get in the mail? A nearly $3,000 bill for property taxes! This amount will only cover six months! Keene’s property taxes are so high, it’s like paying rent again. One of the main reasons I became a homeowner was to get away from throwing money down the rent rathole, now I’m just throwing it down the property tax rathole to the tune of $500 per month.
“What?!” you say, “You have to have property taxes! What about our government services? What about the schools?”. To that I say, wait. Back up. Reset.
Did you realize that property taxes are communism in America? A hallmark of communism is central control and distribution of resources. Anyone who has paid even a little attention to history knows that communism is always a failure, because centralization is inefficient, slow, stupid, and dangerous. Why do we put up with this? Just in case you’re confused, here’s how property taxes work:
Some “authority”, in this case the “Department of Assessment”, assigns a value to your property. The “Revenue Collector” then applies a tax rate of X mils to your property and sends you a bill. Providing you do not want a band of armed thugs (the police) coming to throw you off the property that YOU paid for, you pay the outrageously expensive bill. So does everyone else. All these payments are sent to the Revenue Collector (the central controller) who then sends portions of your money off to other centrally controlled bureaucracies like the School Board and Police Department.
“Are you saying you don’t want school and police?!”
No, not at all. I’m saying I don’t like communist forced wealth redistribution schemes. It’s totally possible to have both schools and police without property taxes. And no, I’m not proposing another tax to replace it. My proposal will give us better schools and police, here’s how:
Most people would agree that schools and police are important things to have around. However, has anyone ever asked themselves why these bureaucracies cannot be funded on a voluntary basis? If they are truly providing a valuable service, surely people will step up to the plate and buy their services just like we buy services from Panera Bread or Walmart on a voluntary basis.
“How will voluntary funding make police and schools better?”
Simple, because if they aren’t doing their jobs, they won’t get the funding. With today’s property tax scam, it doesn’t matter how bad or inefficient the police, schools, and other government services are, they keep getting bigger budgets year after year. There’s no accountability and not much that we can do about it. If we were to set a date, say Jan 1st 2007 and tell these bureaucracies that they will no longer get tax funding after that date, they’d either figure out how to voluntarily fund themselves, or they would die from uselessness. Inefficent bureaucracies would have to turn into efficient businesses to survive. None of the rest of us in business get a guaranteed fat funding check every 6 months, neither should the government.
“Great idea! How do we get there from here?”
That’s the tricky part. I see two paths:
1. Electing principled, pro-Liberty candidates to local office. These individuals could make the changes necessary to set a date for conversion to voluntary funding, and everything would be “official”. We’d all get one last property tax bill, and the bureaucrats would get a deadline to become 100% voluntarily funded.
2. Civil disobedience. Did you ever ask yourself, what would they do if 10% of residents refused to pay? What about 25%? Would they build a big jail and throw us all in and take all our property? This shows how absurd property taxes are. If you were to put those people in jail, you’d be destroying the economy of the area from two directions. The economy would take a hit because all those productive individuals would be in jail sitting around. It would take another hit, because they’d have to raise the remaining population’s taxes to pay for the 10 or 25% sitting in jail!
If we can shift our bureaucracies to voluntary funding models and eliminate the oppressive property tax, New Hampshire will become the wealthiest place in the world. Imagine what you could do if you didn’t have to pay those thousands of dollars a year to the government. Imagine being able to control every dollar you earn, and spend it, save it, and give it away in the ways that YOU think are best! This change is possible, and it’s being discussed at http://forum.nhfree.com . I hope you give it the utmost serious consideration.
Host, “Free Talk Live”