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Posts Tagged ‘property’

My finding of this statute allowing for recovery of the payment of property taxes in Washington State under protest of duress is in response to a commenter laughably claiming that purported anarchist, Lew Rockwell, seeking a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status for the Mises Institute wasn’t a voluntary agreement.

Here’s what a real anarchist would do if he/she chooses to pay taxes, and that’s pay under protest of duress, as I suggested in my response to his comment.

From the Washington State Department of Revenue’s document, Paying your Property Taxes Under Protest:

To preserve your right to seek a court ordered refund, you must submit a separate written statement to the county treasurer at the time you pay the tax stating (1) you are paying the tax or a portion of the tax under protest and (2) all of the reasons why you believe the tax paid is unlawful or excessive.

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From this July 19, 2013 Waterloo Region Record article, Son grassed off by complaint about elderly parents’ lawn:

Chris Parniak could not believe the city’s bylaw department is cracking down on his elderly parents to cut grass in the middle of a heat wave.

Parniak found a notice of violation from the city’s bylaw enforcement office in his parents’ mailbox on Wednesday. The notice mentioned his parents by name and ordered them to cut all grass taller than eight inches.

“I was just disgusted that the bylaw department is going around enforcing something as ridiculous as that in this kind of heat wave,” Parniak said.

“My parents are senior citizens, they are in their 80s. My mother is disabled with lupus, my dad had kidney failure and has been in and out of the hospital,” Parniak said.

Bylaw enforcement officers typically only respond to complaints. That means someone living near the elderly couple called the city’s bylaw enforcement office and complained about the length of their grass in the middle of a heat wave.

Property owners have three days to comply with a notice of violation. After that, a city grass cutting crew does the work and sends a bill. Typically the cost ranges from $100 to $150, depending on the size of the lot.

Despite the article making the neighbour(s) who ratted out the couple about their lawn out to be insensitive creeps, the fact that such bylaws are so widespread and accepted tells me that most Waterloo Region residents, most Canadians, and even most Americans would force this old man (through government) to cut his grass, too, if they were his neighbour.

If, for example, the guy had a dangerous tree on his property, then I think the city would be justified in acting to protect his neighbours, but what business is it of his neighbours, or of the city, to impose force on him simply because his grass is allegedly, and arbitrarily, “too long”?

This is the consequence of not truly owning any real property in Canada, unless you’re the Crown, and in most places in the United States, unless you’re the “sovereign” government. Your “ownership” is only fee simple, which means it is subject to all taxes and regulations imposed on it by the so-called representative government.

Am I saying that I would be happy to live next to a neighbour or neighbours with lawns that more resemble a jungle? Of course not! — but that’s not the point. How is it infringing upon my property rights, unless that grass becomes a danger to my property?

In a twist of irony, the city of Waterloo doesn’t follow its own similar bylaw, as I walked by the University of Waterloo Tech Park, which is operated by the publicly-owned university, and has tracts of land with grass and weeds bigger than eight inches at times, including on July 20.

Is it the case of a bylaw exemption, of the government not actually being servant to the people, and, instead, master? As a friend told me, when he worked on Ontario Works public housing projects, he was told that the government’s excuse was that there was simply too much grass to cut.

Too much grass to cut within 24 hours or a few days, perhaps, but it’s not a valid excuse at all if it justifies hardly ever cutting the grass while employing bylaw officers to force their benefactors (tax-paying residents) to cut their grass.

Until enough residents stand up and prove otherwise, I have no reason to believe that most of them wouldn’t also use the power of government to force their neighbours to cut their grass, too.

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Canada has held its sixth place ranking out of 177 ranked countries in the conservative Heritage Foundation’s 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, with an overall score of 79.4, with the U.S. holding its tenth place ranking, with an overall score of 76.0.

Canada now exceeds the United States in 8 out of 10 components of economic freedom, being surpassed only in government spending and labor freedom:

Canada vs. the United States
Property Rights 90.0 vs. 85.0
Freedom From Corruption 87.0 vs. 71.0
Government Spending 44.8 vs. 47.8
Fiscal Freedom 79.8 vs. 69.3
Business Freedom 91.7 vs. 90.5
Labor Freedom 82.3 vs. 95.5
Monetary Freedom 75.2 vs. 75.0
Trade Freedom 88.2 vs. 86.4
Investment Freedom 75.0 vs. 70.0
Financial Freedom 80.0 vs. 70.0

I’ll be discussing these results in an upcoming episode of my radio program, Exposing Faux Capitalism, airing every Sunday from 1 to 3 PM Eastern on Oracle Broadcasting.

Previously, I wrote the article, Still think Canada is more socialist than the United States? The joke’s on you.

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Animation of a spinning barber pole

From the November 15, 2012 Toronto Star article, Woman denied haircut goes to Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, in Canada’s largest newspaper, I posted the following comment:

“Private property rights

Why is a store owner required to do something on his own property against his will? It’s too bad that he’s challenging this on religious freedom, when it should be a matter of private property rights — to do with your own property as you wish, so long as you’re not depriving anyone else of their rights. And it’s not anyone’s right to get a haircut at a particular barber shop.

Nov 15, 2012 9:48 AM Agree (68) Disagree (22)”

After 13 hours, my comment is the 13th-highest-rated among over 600 comments. I’m pleasantly heartened to see the message of private property rights resonate with so many readers, given the false frame of the article in portraying it as a matter of gender equality vs. religious freedom.

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AlleyCity of Windsor, Ontario councilors have discovered that private property = better care.

From the October 8, 2012 Toronto Star article, Solution to fixing Windsor’s decaying alleys? Sell them to homeowners:

“The alleys are in bad shape and they’re just going to get worse because we don’t have the money to fix them,” Payne said.

Payne thought that it would be better for the city to just divest itself of the alleyways and asked for a report on the feasibility of selling them for a nominal fee to homeowners whose property is next to them.

The city has 150 kilometres of alleys — most of them in a state of disrepair, said Payne. The pavement is cracked. There are potholes, garbage and vermin in many of them, he said.

Reaction to the idea so far has been positive, Payne said. “I’ve had calls from homeowners who’ve said they’d like to buy the alleys behind their house.””

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Waterloo City CouncilAs reported by the Waterloo Chronicle on August 15, 2012, in their article, A better way:

She now goes out of her way to avoid the Northdale neighbourhood and the surrounding area because she can’t stand the look of the bland, characterless apartments currently being built there.

Yet while city staff and some councillors say the city must walk a fine line to balance the enforcement of visual and aesthetic guidelines with the rights of developers — even going so far to consider using millions of dollars in incentives to rebuild Northdale — there are some builders in the city who have already taken that next step without a handout from the city.

If Waterloo City Council really cared about the property rights of individuals, they wouldn’t take millions of dollars in the form of property taxes in order to redistribute them to other property owners. Particularly, I see favouritism toward well-monied property owners, but it’s become so commonplace these days, even when it’s as blatant as taking money from the unemployed and underemployed for something as blatant as video game research, as I previously documented in my article, Canadian government calls for austerity, awards $5.8 million for video game research.

The last sentence of the paragraph I quoted shows that private developers can succeed in spite of regressive policies such as the one Waterloo City Council has floated.

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The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments t...

I once heard a liberty-oriented radio host say that just compensation (for the taking of private property for public use) used to require the consent of the property owner.

While that may be, it wasn’t a requirement in the minds of those who drafted and ratified the Bill of Rights — the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

The proof of this is the explicit requirement of the consent of a real property owner in the Third Amendment:

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

The requirement of just compensation for the taking of private property for public use as specified in the Fifth Amendment is as follows:

nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

If they had intended just compensation to mean consent, they would’ve said so, just as consent of the property owner is explicitly mentioned in the Third Amendment.

The taking of private property for private use, however, I’d argue, does require the consent of the property owner, according to the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and common law.

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