Private or Government Property?

Is private property really private?

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?

Jimmy Orr March 08, 2011 at 10:14 PM
Well spoken, Diane. Please read my upcoming commentary in Friday's Dacula Patch. Brother Ray, you continue to "shuck the corn" with your timely commentaries.
Ray Newman March 09, 2011 at 12:07 AM
Diane, you have mentioned something that concerns me greatly. That is the question of eminent domain being misapplied. There might be a few small times when it is necessary, but other times across the country eminent domain is being used to take property for the wrong reason, in my opinion. Jimmy, I am looking forward to your column Friday.
Edwin Gravitt April 10, 2011 at 01:06 AM
Ray, the first governor of North Carolina, Richard Caldwell laid a property tax on the people’s land, and every state in the union has since followed suit. If Americans were truly free there would be no way to enforce property taxes because the property could not be seized for non-payment of the tax on the property. This, in itself, should be clear evidence that no one actually owns their property as a sovereign inhabitant, but is essentially paying rent to the government. While we may debate the mechanism and the process that diminished our sovereignty, the fact is we are no longer sovereign inhabitants upon the land and our common law rights are not protected in the admiralty/maritime or commercial jurisdiction according to the courts that adjudicate our contemporary criminal and civil disputes. NOTE: Individuals across the country have argued constitutional issues countless times in court only to have them dismissed as being frivolous and of no consequence [like the Franklin County, Georgia SPLOST law suit in their superior court and in the state appellant court in Oconee County]. Judges have been heard to comment that they will not hear the Constitution in their courts.
Ray Newman April 10, 2011 at 11:37 PM
We continue to have issues with the "private property" matter in our nation, Edwin . I recently was asked about the issue of Warranty Deed as opposed to Patent Deed in regard to who truly owns the land we have our home on. These issues just continue to be debated, and it seems, the way things are today that the property owner comes up the loser when the courts side with the government in taking land. One cannot help but muse as to where this will end. Thanks for reading the column and for commenting.
Edwin Gravitt April 12, 2011 at 01:33 AM
Thanks Ray.


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