One of the pillars in our nation is the rule of law. Another great pillar that has served our representative republic well is the right to own private property. This stands in stark contrast to one of the statements of control in the Communist Manifesto: “Abolition of private property.”
Land ownership has been the dream and wish of generations of settlers in our country. In many parts of our country, families have owned parcels of ground, passing them to the next generation in order to keep the property in the same family.
As cities developed and grew in population, demands of security, fire protection and good roads on which to travel increased. These types of government expenses -- roads, bridges, protection by police and fire departments -- are often called infrastructural. Somewhere, the idea came along that each property owner should pay a tax on their property to cover the expenses for the infrastructural needs of a community.
There are people who argue that to have to pay the government just because you happen to be an owner of real estate property is not fair and shows that private property is just an illusion. However, paying taxes is far from the biggest problem landowners face.
In recent years, as governments strove to meet the demands of a growing population, it became necessary to exact from certain property owners their property for government use. There is a phrase used to justify the legal confiscation of property: “For the common good.” When private property is needed for a project that will be for the common good, the argument goes, then the government can purchase the property, or otherwise find a way to acquire the property from the private owner such as through the power of eminent domain.
Last week, we saw this debate played out publicly in Dacula. The that requires the gathering of several pieces of property to form the plot of ground necessary for the park. When one owner refused to sell his property, the .
From where I stand, this struggle between government and private property owners affects the trust level of citizens toward their government. Is a tiny downtown park worth this?