by Al Benson Jr.
Anyone doing any serious reflection today about our true situation in this country has to realize that we are much less “free” than in earlier days. We are bound by many rules, regulations, and taxes in our day that would have caused people in a saner day to conclude that we, indeed, are living in a state of near slavery, which we ignorantly define as “freedom.”
In the past I have written about the property tax and how it is one of the most iniquitous taxes there is. The late Rev. R. J. Rusdoony expressed much the same sentiment in his book Law and Liberty, which is truly worth reading for its many insights. It can be found on Amazon.com
In fact Law and Liberty has a chapter devoted to law and property. Rushdoony said of the property tax: “The Bible did not have provision for any property tax; indeed, it saw it only as a form of tyranny and confiscation (1Sam. 8:7-18)…Originally, none of the American states permitted a property tax, and all were hostile to it…Because the state could not tax property, a man was secure in his land, home, and possessions in good times and bad.” Now, thanks to the property tax, no man has the security anymore and we are less free for having lost it.
The socialists and Marxists eagerly contend that property rights are a major roadblock to what they call “human rights.” They conveniently forget that property rights are also human rights. You have to understand, for the Marxist, that property rights are a big impediment to his right to take away your rights and make you subservient to “the state.” A major part of his agenda is, therefore, the abolition of private property, which must necessitate also abolishing the family, another Marxist goal.
And the property tax is also used to further yet one more goal of Marxism—the public school system. Look at your next property tax bill and see how much of it goes toward what they euphemistically refer to as “public education.”
Again, Rushdoony stated: “When a man is secure in the possession of his property, he has an area of liberty and dominion which is beyond the reach of other men. If no man and no state can reach in to tax or to confiscate his property, man can enjoy true liberty and great security, whether he be prosperous or poor. Every attack on private property is, therefore, an attack on man’s liberty.” And that is the way it was intended to be. So the state wants to be sure you have no property—real property, personal property, or monetary property that they can’t get their hands on. Personal property would include such things as your firearms, which, as we well know, are under constant attack from the current Marxist regime. And there is talk about them also raiding people’s retirement funds, 401 Ks and what not. It would seem that our current dictator feels he is much better qualified to spend the money you worked all your life to put aside for your retirement than you are. Besides, maybe with Obamacare and those death panels you won’t need that much of it anyway.
However, under our current situation, no man really “owns” his own property anymore anyway. As long as you are subject to the property tax they can throw you off your own property if you don’t pay it so you don’t really own it in the truest sense of the word—you rent it off whatever governing authority is in power when your tax payment comes due.
This isn’t that difficult to figure out and I am surprised that more people have not discerned this. Christians don’t seem to discern it anymore than anyone else and some of them even brag about enjoying the payment of taxes because it is the price of living in a “free country.” They fail to realize that those taxes they are so eager to pay are actually a restriction on their liberty. But, then, if they were educated in government schools there is almost no chance they were taught any of this, and sadly, most Christian schools don’t touch it either. It seems that we are happy to contribute to the diminishing of our God-given liberties by our willing silence.
In 1966 the state of Nebraska did away with the property tax at the state level and passed the dubious responsibility off to local governments, which might be a tad more responsive to the local folks, but there are no guarantees of that.
As I said at the start, the property tax is among the most iniquitous taxes there are. They finance a government school system that undermines our liberty by under-educating our children, or by mis-educating them. I have a batch of files I have collected that will more than prove the truth of that statement. It would seem that if tax money is really needed, and I’m not sure they really need all they collect, another way could be found to collect it other than taxing a man’s property and taking it away if he doesn’t pay your tax.
Christians in particular need to become much more aware of the implications of the property tax and they need to work to make others aware and, where possible, maybe they need to conduct some sort of public awareness program as to what property taxes do to our ownership of our property. Another issue that might also be tackled is the one of bond issues to raise money for schools or other projects. There is a lot of money to be made off bond issues, many of which are a bane rather than a blessing for the taxpaying public.
A noted tax economist, Frederick C. Stocker has described the property tax as “…a structure designed by a mad architect, erected on a shaky foundation by an incompetent builder and made worse by the well-intentioned repair work of hordes of amateur tinkerers.”
Writer R. William Potter wrote in August of 2010 on http://www.njspotlight.com about this tax. He said: “…the local property tax—which goes up even if the owner is unemployed. New Jersey is second only to New Hampshire in reliance on local property taxes, at more than twice the national average. Garden Staters also pay a sales tax and an income tax dedicated to reducing local property taxes. So bear in mind that an attack on the state income tax means less money available to reduce property taxes—which some academics have dubbed it ‘the worst tax’ of all. How bad is it? Consider the impacts of a property tax on investment. The more you spend to modernize your old house, the higher the assessment and the more you are taxed, even if you’ve lost your job since installing that back porch or central AC.”
Further, Potter says: “The property tax is the engine of ‘surburban sprawl’ that has drained the cities of ratables where the poor are concentrated, and in the ‘burbs’ it drives up the cost of local services and creates the need for higher—you guessed it—property taxes.”
Sounds like property taxes are a self-perpetuating political organism that takes more and more of people’s money without giving them any benefit whatever—thereby, as Rushdoony said, restricting their liberties. So the property taxes are a major source of funds for public schools. In that case, what about people that don’t use, or have never used, public schools? Why should they have to pay for them? Our kids never attended public schools even for a day. Yet I have, over the years, had to pay for what I consider to be instruments of an anti-Christian worldview and, frankly, if I am going to support any kind of a school, I would rather it be a Christian school.
There are lots of questions that need to be dealt with about the property tax and it wouldn’t hurt a bit if Christians started to learn how to deal with them in the public square rather than just quietly stepping up to the cashier’s window at the town hall and obediently forking over their cash.