Letters to the Editor

Property owners victimized

The individual property owner is one of the most victimized minorities in this country. Property taxes are taken by force from individual property owners to fund governments controlled by elected legislators and non-elected bureaucrats (officials). At the property owners expense, these officials impose and enforce laws, regulations, restrictions, conditions, covenants, ordinances, statutes, policies, prohibitions, protocols, standards and guidelines granting every non-owner, especially themselves, the unjust right to dictate to the actual property owner how that property owner may ultimately use his own property. This begs an obvious question: If non-owners have the right to decide how a property may be used, then why dont the actual owners have the same right?
The most common mantra that is expressed by officials to defend their conduct and answer this question is: We are responsible to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. This mantra is self-contradictory. Officials cannot purport to protect the public by violating the very rights of individual members of the public. Other lazy and hazy mantras ultimately follow, such as: We are carrying out the will of the people, or We are acting on behalf of the majority.
These are just self-contradictory variations of the same mantra. After all, rights are not subject to ever-changing will or random majority vote. The very essence of rights is that they are inalienable and supposed to be protected by federal and state constitutions as such. Instead, at the point of a gun, officials hold property owners rights hostage, only to be partially released upon the payment of a ransom. The ransom usually takes the form of an extorted fee or a coerced acceptance of additional restrictions upon the owners right to use his property.
The most fundamental component of property ownership and its inherent rights is the freedom to use. Those who confiscate the freedom to use concurrently confiscate ownership. It is an unjust act to force an individual property owner to fund, through property taxes, the confiscation of his property. Furthermore, if individual property owners dont pay and/or comply, eventually another taxpayer-funded official, namely an armed policeman, will arrive to enforce compliance. To say that officials rule at the point of a gun is not metaphorical but quite real.
Accordingly, I-933 should be passed. It is unjust that the individual property owner should bear the entire financial burden to protect the public while the several members of the public derive the benefits of this protection. In fact, the billions of dollars that opponents claim will have to be spent by the public if I-933 passes clearly illustrates the current financial burden that the individual property owner is forced to assume under current laws. Justice and fairness dictate that if all the members of the public benefit, then all the members should share the cost.
Whether I-933 passes or fails, and without ignoring just safety considerations, all laws, regulations, restrictions, conditions, covenants, ordinances, statutes, policies, prohibitions, protocols, standards and guidelines granting every non-owner the unjust right to dictate to the actual property owner how that property owner may use his property should be repealed. There is no compromise that can be made with unjust laws and unjust conduct that does not result in unjust consequences.
Michael J. Lepore
Arlington

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