From Casey Research: Property Rights and Property Taxes—and Countries That Don’t Have Them

Nick Giambruno of Casey Research wrote an interesting and informative article about the perniciousness of property taxes and the few countries that spurn them.

Do you really own something that you are forced to perpetually make payments on and which can be seized from you if you don’t pay?

I would say that you don’t.

You would possess such an item, but you wouldn’t own it—an important distinction

A ridiculous perversion of the concept of ownership and property rights has infected most of the world like a virus: something that most people unquestioningly accept as a normal part of life—like it’s a part of the eternal fabric of the cosmos.

I am talking about property taxes, of course.

You know, the annual tax you pay that is based not on whether any income was generated, but rather on the underlying value of real estate you supposedly “own.” There is no way to pay off this obligation in one fell swoop; it stays with you for as long as you “own” the property.

In actuality, you don’t own anything which you must pay property taxes on—you are merely renting it from the government.

Suppose you bought a sofa set and coffee table for your living room for $5,000 cash, and then had the obligation to pay $100—or a percentage of the furniture’s value—in tax each year for as long as you “owned” it. Then suppose that for whatever reason you’re unable or unwilling to pay your furniture’s property tax. It won’t take long for the government to swoop in and confiscate it to pay off your delinquent taxes. You get to “own” it as long as you pay the never-ending annual fee—stop paying and you’ll find out who really owns it.

While many people would correctly find a furniture property tax absurd, they also illogically find it acceptable for the government to levy an insatiable tax on different assets—namely their homes, offices, and raw land.

But to me at least, the type of asset being taxed is not what makes it absurd, it’s the concept of property taxes that is absurd.

Respect for property rights and property taxes are mutually exclusive concepts. What’s yours is yours, and you shouldn’t need to pay the government for permission to keep it.

Here’s a list of countries that do not levy any property taxes:

That’s it. If you want to escape the rapacious and ridiculous property tax, these are your options.

The entire article can be read here.

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