1010 N Tennessee St
Published October 18, 2010 in Short Answers by Mary Ruwart
I own 8.93 acres. In the past it has been used for growing crops. Now I want to put a few horses and a small shed on it, but the county won't allow me. Who owns my land? Where are my rights?
You have a conflict between what you want to do with your land and what the zoning authorities permit -- an all-too-common problem these days.
Today, while you own your own land -- in theory -- in practice, it can be taken from you and given to another private party through eminent domain, if the local government believes it will receive more taxes that way.
The local zoning board can tell you what you may or may not do on your land. Even if you own the land "free and clear," the government can take it from you if you don't pay property taxes. And property taxes amount to, in practice, a kind of "rent" you have to pay the government each year to be allowed to keep living on your own property!
In a libertarian society, government couldn't take your land by eminent domain. There would be no zoning boards. Deed restrictions, which you would be aware of when you bought the property, would be the only limitations on what you did with your property. Deed restrictions would protect your property rights, and also protect your neighbor's property rights, far more fairly and effectively than zoning laws.
Finally, a truly libertarian society would have no taxes, so the government couldn't take your land for not paying the "rent" of annual property taxes.
If you like the idea of having the freedom to do any peaceful thing you wish on your own property, you just might be a libertarian. If so, join us and help make real freedom ring!
Read more of Dr. Mary Ruwart's responces to tough questions in her book Short Answers to the Tough Questions.