As a Libertarian, I disagree with your April 22 editorial on the idea that counties and cities “need leeway on property taxes.” In fact, I believe that we should abolish the property tax and there are good reasons for doing so.
Ten years ago a poll on the property tax found that more than 40 percent of those polled hated the property tax.
The property tax is a source of corruption. There are many examples of corruption related to the property tax across the nation. One form is called the Curley Effect, after former Boston Mayor James Curley. As the authors of a study on the Curley Effect wrote, “While benefiting the incumbent, these taxes may actually impoverish the area and make both groups worse off.”
Tax exempt properties are another source of problems. A leasehold tax is a tax that is paid instead of a property tax when property might qualify for an exemption, but as mentioned in a newsletter from Washington Ports “It is not unusual for a government to try and structure a transaction to avoid leasehold excise tax.”
There are many property tax exemptions across the state, and while some pay a leasehold tax, many don’t pay anything for the services they receive. Tax exemption for one piece of property at the expense of another is an unfair burden that should not be placed on homeowners and renters. Let’s abolish the property tax.