Property Taxes are Communism

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.

Ian Bernard
Host, “Free Talk Live

posted by ianbernard
  • GreginOz

    http://www.reason.com/0606/fe.sd.where.shtml

    A fascinating little tale on how private schools transformed India’s education system.

  • Devious David

    Good work as always, Ian.

    There are other intermediate steps too, death by a thousand cuts… no matter how small or paltry. The currently elected officials can be occasionally swayed to enact small cuts here and there. Libertarians are good at finding creative ways to cut costs in government.

    Isn’t there a gaming commission or something like that for the race course? A boxing commission? Work on ending those and returning the money to the taxpayer.

    Other things that I have thought of lately that don’t pertain to your property tax ideas would be things that would cut burdensome interaction and small fees. Things like extending driver’s license and car tag expirations to infinity – once they’re paid, they’re paid once and for all.

    I like your radical approach because it makes ideas like the above look more reasonable to the skeptics. That way, when compromises are made, we get what we want rather than being dragged along on the path of greater statism. We compromise “upwards”.

  • Devious David

    … and keep with our principles.

  • http://www.tom-hanna.org tom Hanna

    $6,000 a year in property taxes? I think maybe the Free State Project needs to take a second look at the state they picked. I think I’ll stay in unfree Missouri, thank you very much.

  • http://www.libertyforsale.com Timothy West

    my property taxes here in WV is about 550 dollars a year on 230K property. They also give you one full year to pay, going from july 1st to july 1st year to year.

  • http://www.libertyforsale.com Timothy West

    run that by 100 voters in a district picked at random, and see what the reaction is. We need more polling anyway.

  • http://www.libertyforsale.com Timothy West

    Ben Brandon in GA has done this with respect of seniors and school taxes. They can opt out of the share of education tax they owe.

    this should be going nationwide where feasable, becuase at least one libertarian has already been elected becuase of itin a 3 way race. It needs to be copied for LP candidates over the whole country.

    no harm in running Ian’s prop through likely voters tho. If they like it, great. If they hate it, try something else. The target is never other libertarians. It’s those people out there referred to as sheeple by many in th LP…until we get majority based districts of libertarians. Then we dont have to care.

  • Michael H. Wilson

    WE should work on abolishing the property tax. One problem with the tax is the exemptions that politicians give out ( sometimes like candy).
    Most items that the tax covers can be handled by a monthly billing process just like you get billed for phone service.
    Need fire protection; get a monthly bill.
    M.H.W.

  • Scott

    My parents own a $300k house in Phoenix and pay a little over $1000 a year in property taxes.

    Even better, move to an unincorporated area of Florida (there are many that feel just like cities). Put a cow on your yard and claim the agricultural tax exemption. This is very common and legal.

  • http://www.phillies2008.org George Phillies

    Property tax, rant rant.

    That’s the dominant tax New Hampshirites pay. No income tax, no sales tax, … and you actually pay the whole thing in lumps so you feel it, as opposed to withdrawal statements.

    In fact, if you take the total tax income in the state, and divide it by the state’s total personal income, New Hampshire has the lowest taxes in the country, and even better they are out where you can see them and feel them.

    Of course, it would be of some modest interest to know how much house is attached to your tax, in that your property tax is no different than mine. However, I pay in MA a 5.5% state income tax and a 6% iirc state sales tax, among other things. (Mind you, MA state politicians are falling down on the job (8^)) , in that our tax/income ratio is also fairly low this year.)

    Hwoever, the yearly property tax was on the disclosure statement that the seller gave you, I believe.

  • danp

    You have to keep in mind when you “buy” property you do not actually own the land itself. Only two states let you even come close to actually letting you own the land itself (Nevada and Texas, both have limitations on true soveriegnty). In all other cases you ARE paying rent, your landlord just happens to be the government because they are the true owners of the land.

  • bac

    Yup, the native indians found out just because you live on the land doesn’t mean you own it.

  • Devious David

    Yeah, allodium would be another thing worth working towards.

  • Nicholas Sarwark

    [ Anything I Don't Like ] is Communism!

    And if you don’t agree, you’re not a libertarian, you’re a socialist!

  • http://360.yahoo.com/pong_god Robert Mayer

    Nicholas, I think Ian presented a fairly detailed case in supporting his statement. Whether you think it was perfectly well-reasoned or not, I don’t think it warranted your sarcastic reply.

    Are you a big fan of property taxes?

  • http://articulatecampaigns.com Allen Hacker

    Ian,

    You the buyer did not beware. You bought into a social construct; the taxes were already in place, as George points out. You should not have done that uninformed. Now you gripe?

    At any rate, you are wrong, what you have there is not communism because it was accomplished through non-violent means via consent of the governed. You are free to change it without getting shot. And you didn’t have to buy in.

    Besides, you were glad there was a road, weren’t you? Some of those taxes are necessary to mere survival in the world the way it is. Get used to reality and work for change, but always realize that it will have to be incremental, one increase prevented and one roll-back accomplished at a time.

    And be a little allowing for LP candidates who are serious about getting elected when they admit in their platforms that it can’t all be done in one swell foop.

    -0-

  • http://articulatecampaigns.com Allen Hacker

    Ian,

    Neither of your two paths will happen. People don’t support sudden change, so that’s it for #1. And if you could get 10% to consider civil disobedience, you could more easily get 25% to vote for reduction. Today, 25% of the people voting for anything is a landslide. But you’ll never get 25% of the people to commit civil disobedience.

    Sorry, but we need real-world solutions (ideas that people “out there” will consider) rather than ‘should’ and ‘oughta-be’.

    -0-

  • ianbernard

    Don’t jump to conclusions about me, Allen. I’m no fool, I knew exactly what I was getting into. I’m not complaining, just pointing out that it’s WRONG.

    You said: “accomplished through non-violent means via consent of the governed.”

    Excuse me, but you’re full of shit. Just because people pay property taxes doesn’t mean they consent. Many are scared of having their homes taken from them BY FORCE.

    You sound like a politician saying taxes are “necessary”, and shame on you for even bringing up “the roads”.

    Again, you talk down to me like I’m a child, well guess what? I’ve managed a campaign too, Mr. Hacker. Believe it or not, my candidate was not as principled as I’d have liked, but I managed the campaign and supported him anyway.

    So there. :P

  • ianbernard

    I never suggested being able to get 25% to do CD, I just used that number to show the absurdity of punishing people for not paying property tax.

    Civil disobedience is a real world solution, as is spreading the word about how bad property tax is and running candidates. If you disagree, I don’t give a flip. NH already has more Liberty activists in place than any other state, and that number grows on a weekly basis. I believe your campaign has already lost at least one key activist to NH. The cream is rising to the top, and the fun is just getting started:

    http://freestateproject.org

  • Devious David

    Right on Ian, if the taxes were paid at consent of the governed, how can coercion act as consent? Furthermore, to assume that the tax was voluntary and no coercion took place is to assume that The State has a legitimate prior claim on that property – both before AND after you take “ownership” of it.

    Additionally, 25% is not required for successful civil disobedience. If it were, then the USA would probably STILL be under the crown!

  • http://articulatecampaigns.com Allen Hacker

    Ian,

    I didn’t mean to talk down to you, I respect your activism. But you don’t sound any different than the ranters of 30 years ago who didn’t accomplish anything then, either. It’s time for a more even-tempered approach, is all I’m saying.

    You bought the property knowing the taxes were there? Then you consented. You consented to doing something you say is wrong? Well, it doesn’t get eny more real-worl than that.

    As for Rob going on to NH, what you don’t know about that is private anyway, so here we are, both of us having shot our mouths off without knowing everything we should.

    Even?

    BTW, it only takes 5% to create a social movement. So all we really need to do is create that many Libertarians.

    -0-

  • http://libspot.org/member/mlaursen/blog1/ Mike Laursen

    Far from being “communism”, property taxes have more legitimacy than any other form of tax. The one form that comes closest to being a simple payment for a service provided, and a deal that one enters into voluntarily. Not that different in nature from paying homeowner fees for one’s condominium.

    You’ve bought into that very same “band of armed thugs” protecting your property rights, providing you with infrastructure, etc. To be fair, perhaps you haven’t — When you bought the property did you skip registering the change of ownership with the local government, which you consider to be just a “band of armed thugs”? Did you plan to protect your property all on your own with your shotgun?

  • http://www.freeme.org Keith

    Tom Hanna, we spent 1000s of hours and 1000s of people voted from all over the nation and NH was selected. We spend plenty of time looking at which state we picked.

    NH has the lowest taxes in the nation. Hell, they don’t even have a sales tax for cars. The property taxes are not that bad in NH, either. They go from low to high, depending on what town you live in. Ian decided to buy a big house in a high tax town, so his taxes are high. It is not that big a deal though, as his house is so big he could have several renters. In fact, Keene is a college town so they would be easy to find.

    I think his post was more about how Property Taxes are Communism than how New Hampshire has high taxes (because its taxes are low compared to everyone else).

  • http://www.rockhoward.org Rock Howard

    Speaking of property taxes, I like the idea of only taxing land values and not the taxing improvements to the property. In this way people and businesses are not punished with an increased tax burden for improving their property. This has worked pretty well in temrs of spurring economic development when it has been employed. See this Wikipedia entry for more background.

    I am not claiming this is a particularly libertarian idea or even less “communist” using the vernacular of this article. It just seems to be a practical step with some useful consequences. Obviously if the rate for the land tax is too high, then it can be just as onerous for the taxpayers.

  • Devious David

    Mike Laursen is probably a Randian Objectivist.

    Allen, there is already 5+% of the population that is libertarian. It is up to us not to create new ones so much as it is to find the ones that are and bring them in.

  • ianbernard

    Mike Laursen:

    If I could order water service from somewhere else, I would, but I can’t, so I don’t mind paying for “infrastructure”. The police, on the other hand, I have no interest in their “services”.

    Also, perhaps you’ve never bought property before, but there’s a certain process that involves government registrations. It’s unavoidable, so obviously I did not “skip” that step.

    Finally, you say the govt is “protecting my property rights”, but that’s not true. They are threatening my property rights if I don’t pay their oppressive tax.

  • ianbernard

    Allen:

    “You bought the property knowing the taxes were there? Then you consented.”

    That’s right, I consented to robbery so I could buy some property. I’m also consenting to robbery so I can keep the property, that’s why I’m going to pay the bribe they want from me. For now.

  • http://21cr.blogspot.com DaveT

    Privately funded police? Private schools are one thing, but private police? I’m not sure I like that idea. Protection from harm (i.e. policing) is one of the few functions government is supposed to perform.

    Of course, police would be a lot less expensive if they weren’t fighting the war on drugs.

  • ianbernard

    Voluntarily funded police. Why can’t they provide their “service” on a voluntary basis, if they are so valuable?

  • Sandra Kallander

    “Prop. 13″ here in California helps a great deal to keep people from being priced out of a property they have owned for decades just because their neighbors sell for ever higher prices. You know when you buy exactly what your taxes are and how much they’re capped at each year thereafter.

    Plus we have another provision, passed later, that requires a 2/3 vote of voters in the jurisdiction to increase any tax at all. See Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association for more. Angry taxpayers are all you need to get something like this passed.

    Sometimes I think it would be enough just to itemize the bill whether it’s a bill or a withheld from my paycheck.

  • http://n-k-1.blogspot.com James

    Allen hacker writes, “You bought the property knowing the taxes were there? Then you consented.”

    Nonsequitur. I once knowingingly went into a neighborhood with a high crime rate at night and got robbed at gunpoint. Was I imprudent? Unwise? Sure. But that is in no way the same as giving consent to robbery.

    DaveT writes, “Privately funded police? … Protection from harm (i.e. policing) is one of the few functions government is supposed to perform.”

    “Supposed to” is not the same as “should.” Why do you believe governments are better at providing security? We already have all kinds of privately provided security options: door locks, motion activated lights, guard dogs, firearms, burglar bars, etc. If anyone, those in governments would be in a position to know who is best at providing security. Municipalities use private security firms (e.g. Brinks) to transport large sums of money when needed. When Paul Bremer went to Iraq, his security was privately provided. Why, I wonder?

  • http://libspot.org/member/mlaursen/blog1/ Mike Laursen

    re: “Mike Laursen is probably a Randian Objectivist.”

    I am so NOT an Objectivist. :-)

  • Scott

    In one way, property tax is the best type of tax because people know how much they are paying.

    If you asked the average American how much they pay in sales tax a year, they usually give a number around $50.

    If you ask a person how much they pay in income tax, they’ll say “I don’t know, but I got $300 back last year!”. Because of the withholding system, it is a secret tax that most people aren’t aware of. Try asking people to fork out $15,000 in April and see how their opinions on the war in Iraq and socialized medicine change.

    At least we can clearly see how much we pay in property tax (unless you rent and its hidden in the rent).

  • Scott

    Privately funded police? Private schools are one thing, but private police?

    When I lived in rural Arizona, we relied on the second amendment because as far as I knew there were only five police cruisers in the entire county (the size of many eastern states). There was no crime, except for the occational 5-year-old stealing a piece of candy if that counts.

  • http://www.reformthelp.org Carl

    “Property taxes are communism.” Stupitarian overstatement.

    Why should people take libertarians seriously when they cannot tell the difference between one of the freest places on earth and communism?

    Want lower taxes? Work to get the schools privatized. (Legalizing drugs probably won’t do that much good in NH since you already have a low incarceration rate.)

    NH has high property taxes because they don’t have sales or income taxes. Property taxes are very visible taxes — visible to property owners, people with a high propensity to vote.

    And they come closer to fee for service government than any other tax save gasoline taxes for road use.

    P.S. If you ever succeed in achieving anarchy, you will probably end up paying more to your local tribe in return for getting to keep your property.

    P.P.S. Unlike sales taxes, property taxes are deductible at the federal level.

  • sniggler

    Just to throw my 5 cents in, I think it vastly unfair to tax property without regards to improvements. Unimproved property usually needs no infrastructure, and there probably isn’t a family sending kids through public school living there. I doubt there is much unimproved property out there that needs the services of the police.

    That being said, $6000 annually? That isn’t a tax – it’s a scandal.

  • http://warcriminal.freeservers.com Sol

    Does this mean New Hampshire is the unfree state along with the unfree state project?

  • TerryP

    Carl,

    Real estate taxes are far from being a fee for government service. The majority of theses taxes usually goes towards education. What does education and a piece of dirt have to do with each other. Police protection and fire departments have far more to do with the improvements than the bare land. Many have suggested that we only tax the bare land and not the improvements. This takes us even further away from being a fee for service.

    Property taxes stink. They are an ongoing tax (unlike sales & income) that can change (usually higher) after you made your initial purchase/decision. Your only recourse is to sell the land that you already own because the gov’t arbitarily raised the taxes on it. It would be fairer as a one-time sales tax or a tax that never changed until the land was sold.

    Why only Real estate? What about other property? I may want police protection from theft for my computer but I am not paying for it. Why not tax other property?

  • TerryP

    Carl said “P.P.S. Unlike sales taxes, property taxes are deductible at the federal level.”

    That is untrue. You can now deduct your sales taxes if you itemize just as you do with property taxes.

  • graham

    As far as Land vs. Improved tax basis.. It varies. I know of at least a couple towns where most “old-timers” were pretty much forced to sell and move because the land itself beame so valuable. of course those who wanted to move made out well. I know of some run-down trailer owners who made a couple of million off their small lots. When your property taxes at least quadruple in a few years when you live in a small ranch or modular home ( where I am from) when your “improvements (buildings) are actually deteriorating and you are prohibited from having more than one house per every acre ( but if you sold out to a developer, they would be allowed to build 4-6 houses as the zoning doesnt apply to them)- it can be hard to swallow.

  • graham

    TerryP, the sales taxes are either/or though , iirc. Isnt it you can choose between State or Sales taxes? So I think it only helps if you are a big spender or live in a state with no income taxes. So I guess that is true for some states.

  • Stuart Richards

    Property taxes are the most libertarian form of tax. They help keep property costs low by making sure that land is used effectively. By also being very visible, they’re the easiest tax to keep low-Carl’s right, property owners vote and they don’t like paying high taxes. If they have to bear the burden of government, they’re going to make damn certain that the government is kept small.

    Also, there’s the geolibertarian school of thought (to which I ascribe) that says that everyone has an equal right to resources existing in nature, and that land is one of those resources. We’d have a property tax pay for all proceeds of government, with whatever’s left being divided up equally for all after the debt is paid back-a sort of “libertarian welfare.”

  • TerryP

    Graham, you are right that it is an either/or with state income or sales tax but irregardless if you want to you can deduct your sales taxes just like you do with your property taxes. Carl insinuated that you couldn’t and that was one reason why you should favor pp taxes over sales taxes.

  • TerryP

    I will have to disagree with Stuart. I beleive that PP taxes are the most unlibertarian form of tax. How can a tax that is recurring, changing every year be libertarian. Once you have bought that property you have no say in what the tax will be in the future. I would have much less of a problem with PP taxes if it was a one-time tax (ie sales tax) or possibly if it was fixed at the time of purchase. As you should know farmers/ranchers pay a large chunk of the re taxes in nebraska. Most do not have kids in school. And while most vote their numbers are way to small compared to the townfolk to make a huge difference in what the property tax will be. Also as opposed to the income and to some degree the sales tax it does not factor in your ability to pay for it. If you can’t pay it you forfeit your property. If you have a negative income for the year as many farmers sometimes do, you still have to pay it.

  • IanC

    Stuart — “Property owners vote and they don’t like paying high taxes.”

    I posit for you the end results of the recent city bond election in Phoenix, AZ. Every politician — and the local news papers — harped about how this was a bond program that wouldn’t raise their taxes. (More specifically — that the tax *rate* wouldn’t go up).

    New projects are being funded by these bonds, such as the installment of city-owned & provided Wifi access for the Phoenix Downtown region (Copper Square to be more precise).

    As a result of these bonds, which are redeemed through the collection of property taxes, a very interesting thing has occurred.

    The amount the city may spend from property taxes is, as a rough estimate, as follows:

    Property Value
    Spending = ————–
    Tax Rate

    (cont’d)

  • IanC

    (cont’d) — gah, that didn’t work at all.

    Spending = (Property Value)/(Tax Rate).

    Here’s the catch. The tax *rate* won’t increase. Yet, spending overall is up nearly 50%. How? The average property value in Phoenix, AZ increased by roughly 50% last year. These things were voted in because property owners were promised it would increase their land values. Things like better street-lighting, more beatification projects, etc…

    And as a result, the average homeowner’s taxes are going to go up 50% in the next year.

    But the tax rate didn’t go up.

    Just a bit of playing devil’s advocate.

  • http://www.freeme.org Keith

    “Does this mean New Hampshire is the unfree state along with the unfree state project?”

    No, having the lowest overall taxes in the nation and low to high property taxes (depending on where you live) does not make New Hampshire the unfree state.

  • ianbernard

    Plus, getting rid of the property tax will make it far and above the freeest state! :)

  • http://warcriminal.freeservers.com Sol

    All they gotta do is mention school funding and then you get painted as Adolf Hitler for opposing property taxes. Once they shriek, “It’s fer da childern!” no one wants to listen to anything you have to say.

  • http://libertarianyouth.blogspot.com Nigel Watt

    They’re sainting the property, Ian? I guess that would improve the value, though I find it hard to believe every property in Phoenix has performed the required two miracles.

    I agree with Stuart (amazing how often that happens) – property taxes are the best kind of tax.

    Ian, I’m spending a month in Nelson (near Keene) this summer – maybe we should meet up.

  • Julian

    Allen Hacker

    You have it wrong. Ian did not consent to paying property taxes. He is forced to pay them whether he is a buyer or renter. Remember, even if you rent, the landlord is going to pass the property tax burden to the rentor as a cost of doing business. What are your skills? Do you have any in business or finance? It is simple. He has to pay the taxes unless he refuses to work and lives in a cardboard box on a public sidewalk.

  • Stuart Richards

    Honestly, I think Nebraska’s tax system was one of the best in the nation until they introduced sales taxes and income taxes.

    Understand I’m speaking idealistically here; obviously transitioning to a geolibertarian system without fucking anyone over is going to be far more complex than just saying “BAM it’s here.”

    Farming is a risky business and boom-and-bust cycles happen. However, I honestly think that a property tax would help farmers, in time. Currently we have farmers who grow extra crops on marginal land, straining the water and soil resources of the area. Granted, this is mainly because of subsidies for certain crops. But enacting a property tax would force farmers to use only the most ideal land for farming, which would actually raise commodity prices in world markets and therefore help American farmers dodge the boom-and-bust cycle. It would also help out the environment.

    Fuck, I really oughtta expand this into a full-blown post.

  • http://libspot.org/member/mlaursen/blog1/ Mike Laursen

    re: Ian did not consent to paying property taxes. He is forced to pay them whether he is a buyer or renter.

    Let me get this straight. Ian decided to move to New Hampshire because the Free State Project determined it was one of the most libertarian states in the United States. He knew they had property taxes, public schools, and police.

    So … the first thing he does is accuse everyone in New Hampshire of being communists because they have the typical government trappings any province in a Western democratic country has.

    Sounds like his basic problem is that he was born into a universe that he didn’t personally create.

  • ianbernard

    Perhaps you should read the article, I never accused anyone of being a communist. I only accused the system of communism.

  • http://libspot.org/member/mlaursen/blog1/ Mike Laursen

    I guess that makes sense. They’re not communists, they just happened to be standing around in the vicinity of where communism is being practiced.

  • ianbernard

    It’s worse, they are victims of the communist system, without perhaps realizing it.

  • http://articulatecampaigns.com Allen Hacker

    Re # 25, Yes David, you’re correct that our job is to find them. But the actual number is closer to 18% are already Ls without knowing it, with the gov’t creating more every day. Trouble is, our constant better-than-thou bickering is keeping them out.

    Re # 31, You’re right James, your example is non-sequitur. But my point holds there, too: when you knowingly take a risk, you have consented to the consequences.

    Re #52, Julian, people around here get upset when I brag about my qualifications, so let’s stick to the point. You confirmed what I said: Ian chose not to refuse to work, not to live in a cardboard box. He chose, his choice, freely made, that’s consent.

    Re #54, Ian, there is no “system”. There is never any system. It’s always just individuals acting one way or another. Thinking there’s a system deludes one into trying to deal with that fictitious entity rather than the individuals involved.

    Folks, this is not difficult. You’re hurting yourselves.

    -0-

  • http://articulatecampaigns.com Allen Hacker

    Guys,

    Almost every tax you take for granted is avoidable and you don’t have to pay them. Of course, you have to learn some difficult things, spend a fair amount of time defending your position, and be willing to forego privilege, but it can be done.

    Just because you don’t know how doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

    -0-

  • Devious David

    And what a great quality of life you’d have at that, eh Allen?

  • Michelle Shinghal

    You guys inspired me to do something unusual. I braced myself and went to look up my tax bill. $8151 in 2005. We fight the tax office’s appraisal every year. Add the 8.25% sales tax. The utility taxes. But Texas is generous to her subjects. Er, I mean life’s blood. The state does not yet tax our incomes and they give us a tax free weekend in August to buy some school clothes for the kiddos. If people were paying attention to libertarians, they would pay attention to sales in August. Even with the per item limit of $100, sales on the tax free weekend are through the roof. Kinda makes you wonder why Walmart doesn’t fight to reduce taxes. Oops, the tax free weekend increases sales and people forget that the very stores they support with purchases are supported by their tax dollars to start with. What a tricky game.

  • http://articulatecampaigns.com Allen Hacker

    Re #59: You got it, David! :-)

    But then, quality is just a value judgement, right?

    -0-

  • http://www.freeme.org Keith

    OK, so this is not a tax rate chart, but it is an interesting article. It shows that people in NH pay the lowest percentage of income in taxes or something like that. I have seen other ratings that were different, but anyway I see it, NH or AK always has the lowest taxes.

    http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?articleId=d18a2afd-0363-4008-b401-10054d5603a4

  • http://www.reformthelp.org Carl

    TerryP, I said it before and I will say it again: the problem is not property taxes (vs. sales or income taxes), it’s government funding of education.

    Get education off the tax roles and property taxes become the most libertarian taxes.

    Another beauty of propery over sales taxes: you could lobby for a private education tax credit that goes against property taxes. This is extremely difficult to do with sales taxes.

    As for sales taxes being tax deductible, give me a break! OK, so you might take this deduction the year you buy a car, but are you telling me that you save up all your grocery and other sales slips in order to take this deduction?

  • http://www.deived.com Deived

    I can’t beleive some of these comments. This is still a Libertarian blog right?

  • TerryP

    Carl said “As for sales taxes being tax deductible, give me a break! OK, so you might take this deduction the year you buy a car, but are you telling me that you save up all your grocery and other sales slips in order to take this deduction?

    In a word No. Most people will take the optional sales tax tables and add in a vehicle purchase sales tax. It’s not that difficult.

    I agree with you about getting the gov’t out of the funding of education. Changing this would be a big plus but I still don’t see how a piece of dirt has anything to do with the fire department or the police. Now all the improvements you put on the land may have something to do with that. Taxing the impovements would be getting you a lot closer to a fee for service type of tax (not that I am advocating this). Taxing the land doesn’t.

  • http://www.reformthelp.org Carl

    When someone invades my dirt, I call the police. The government provides roads to let me access my piece of dirt. Were it not for the U.S military, I would have to pay dearly to keep another government from taking my piece of dirt.

    And just where is the inherent natural right to have a piece of dirt rent free, anyway? Why should have that right and not others? Why not equal rights? The standard libertarian argument has been that self-ownership leads to the right to own the improvements on the land. But you have just admitted that unimproved land has value. Where is the inherent natural right to that? Who decides?

    As a practical matter, you cannot own improvements without rights to the land itself. But note that many property owners make money by “taxing” those who would improve the land. The landlord who rents land (vs. improvements thereon) functions as a mini-government.

  • http://weeklyramble.blogspot.com Daryl Sawyer

    I fail to see how land taxes are any more “communist” than income or sales taxes. Indeed, I’d argue that land taxes are the most libertarian tax of all, if a tax can be called libertarian.

    With income taxes, every person has to report to the government their activities over the course of the year. Employment cannot occur without the notification and consent of the government. Simply put, nobody can do business without the consent of the IRS.

    Same thing with sales taxes. Any volume of trade large enough falls under the purview of the sales tax. Therefore, trade cannot occur without notifying the government of the entire volume of trade that occurs.

    Property taxes (particularly site-value taxes), however, don’t involve much in the way of government snooping. To even call it “yours” and gain the ability to have police haul off tresspassers, you have to have a deed registered somewhere. (w/o police, you could do it yourself… no taxes, but they could do the same…)

  • Devious David

    The point here is that this whole debate is almost pointless and largely semantic. We could go on and on about this tax and that tax and even change from one to another and never really accomplish anything. Rather than focusing on the way the taxes are collected, we need to focus on the amount of government spending.

  • Patriot1

    The American people are state of mind communists and love it so. Mention you do not volunteer taxes for abortion, homsexuality and the like- they get furious and will turn you in to the brownshirts!

    If you want to make someone angry, tell them a lie. If you want to make someone furious, tell them the truth!

    Brainwashed and totally controlled by the new world disorder and love it so.

    They loved not the truth and were given over to foolishness.

    patriot1