Abolish all property taxes now!

Abolish all property taxes now!



there's an election today in North Dakota and what's on the ballot isn't what you would expect it's an amendment to the North Dakota Constitution to end all together the property tax in that state I have to tell you if I lived in North Dakota I'd probably vote for it at the same time and on the other side of the Atlantic there's an interesting news out of Ireland this week kind of the opposite the Irish are considering starting a property tax tax on land this is something brand-new for the Irish although it has a long history here in the United States a few years back I was invited to Ireland to give a speech and on the way back to the airport a very chatty cabdriver asked me a startling ly simple question how is it he asked the Americans aren't allowed to own land I asked him what he was talking about at that time Louise and I owned a home in Atlanta and the mortgage was nearly paid off he said it's really simple here in Ireland I own my home and the government can never take it away from me but in America you just rent your land from the government and if you don't pay your property taxes the government will take your land away and sell the right to pay rent taxes on it to somebody else at that time there was no property tax in Ireland just as there isn't right now if you lost your job you kept your home if you were wiped out by illness or accident or any other sort of disaster you kept your home the government could never take it away from you it was that way when our nation was founded as well property taxes were used in part to fund the American Revolution but they were on all the property you owned your horses cows corn even on slaves in the south and on the value of your house but usually not at all on your land in 1818 two generations after the American Revolution Illinois became the very first state to levy an equalized standardized property tax on land across the entire state by 1933 states have done the same as of today every state in the Union basically owns your land and rents it to you that rent being called property tax and if you don't pay your rent you lose what you thought was your land a home and lot worth a hundred thousand bucks can be seized and auctioned off for being 50 dollars behind in property taxes when Thomas Jefferson was president his old friend the Marquis de Lafayette asked him to translate a book on economics by a friendship named Isuzu Edith rusty Jefferson translated it into English and sent the manuscript to lafayette although he begged lafayette to keep it a secret that he'd done so because as a sitting president he don't want to be seen as interfering and economic and political debates in Europe but Jefferson translated the book because it confirmed a lot of his own previous thinking first of all he thought that poor people shouldn't pay any taxes and that the rich should pay a lot of taxes in 1817 Susan the 84 letter to James Madison he wrote taxes should be proportioned to what they annually be spared by the individual a year later in 1785 he added his thoughts on taxes on property which included real estate in another letter to Madison he wrote another means of silently lessening the inequality of properties to exempt all from taxation below a certain point and attacks the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise if the ban on property taxes in North Dakota fails today as it almost certainly will Jefferson's suggestion would be a great compromise one that's followed right now by many of the nations of the world only have people pay property taxes when they have a relatively high income and/or net worth when they're pulling out so much cash from a society that they can afford to give something back to the country that made them rich bottom line it's wrong that in America you can lose your home particularly a modest home simply because you lost your job or your health or your spouse the tragic reality is that those three things account for most of the people who lose their homes and while it's not always property taxes that push people over the edge to give up their homes it happens that way too often we should suspend property taxes nationwide and anyone who's been unemployed or been financially wiped out and we should put an income threshold above which taxation begins and below which no property tax is paid let the homeowner with a modest home spend their entire life not paying property taxes well people like Mitt Romney who's so rich he hired a lobbyist to argue for a city zoning variation on his beachfront California mansion so he could build an elevator for his wife second Cadillac but people like that pay a graduated progressive property tax we do it with income tax is why should property taxes be any different