Yesterday in Twitter, someone started a conversation about the unfairness of paying property tax. He doesn’t think he should pay property tax because he has a well and a septic system therefore he doesn’t see that he benefits in any way. I don’t know about the state he lives in but in New York State if you use a well for water, and a septic system for waste you don’t have to pay Sewer and Water taxes. Property tax, on the other hand is still owed. Why?
If you have a house fire, you’d like to be able to call someone to come and put it out, right? Fire departments, even volunteer fire departments, have to have money to operate. Municipal districts must pay the manpower to do their job. Volunteers must have money to provide equipment to get there. Pumping equipment to draw water from an available source and more equipment to keep them safe while putting out your fire. Of course, you could buy the equipment for them. Another thing that fire departments do is respond to medical emergencies. Unfortunately, they need equipment to do that as well. No property tax means no emergency fire or medical service. Do we really need all that anyway?
Another paid for service is the local police or sheriff department. For some strange reason, they don’t have volunteers. Of course, we’re all so honest that we don’t commit crimes…right? Nobody ever gets shot, or robbed. No one is ever raped. There are never any motor vehicle accidents which require an investigator and a report for our insurance companies. No report means no repairs to our vehicles. We can walk and look how much good we’d be doing our environment. Of course, for those of us who really don’t want to walk the 20 or 30 miles to work every day, we could pay property taxes so we have the services provided by police and sheriffs.
Property taxes also pay for the plowing and sanding of our roads in the states which have that thing called snow. They pay for traffic signals, road signage and street lights. Of course, if you want to trust your neighbor not to run you down when crossing an intersection, who needs all that? In some cases, property taxes pay for trash hauling, bulk item pick up and also green waste pick up. We could probably do away with all that if we all bought a pick up and took that stuff to the local landfill ourselves. I don’t know about anyone else, but my couch, or refrigerator isn’t going to fit in my car if I need to dispose of them.
You know, come to think of it, maybe he’s right, we don’t need to pay property taxes. We could fund all these benefits privately, but without the right to collect taxes, we wouldn’t be able to enforce payment. Which, since it would be all voluntary means we’d probably be doing without all these services. Oh well, we don’t need them anyway. Right?