There are three proposed Amendments on the ballot this November, 2010, in addition to the important Congressional and Council Elections. Changes to our constitution should not be taken lightly, as once ratified, they are very difficult to rescind.
You can read all three at the State Board of Elections Website In brief, The first allows localities to exempt property owned by senior citizens meeting locally determined financial hardship conditions from property tax, the second grants a statewide property tax exemption to certain disabled veterans, and the third increases the maximum size of the State’s Rainy Day Fund.
The Tidewater Libertarian Party takes no position on the increase in the Rainy Day Fund, but regardless of the worthiness of the beneficiaries, we must, in principle, strongly oppose the property tax exemptions. Over 250 years ago, Alexis de Tocqueville warned that “A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.” and that this imperils the Republic. Voters who are not affected by a tax have no incentive to rein in government spending funded by that tax. For that reason, no one should be exempted from a tax, and even if a tax is made progressive, everyone should pay something.
If we decide that disabled veterans are not adequately compensated, or that retirees who fall on hard times need assistance, the proper remedy is a direct stipend and not manipulation of the tax code. In the interests of good government policy, these exemptions from property tax should be defeated.