Life Without Property Taxes

Many residents of Hamilton County will be delighted to know that their property taxes will not go up this year. But I invite you to do more than dabble in delight that our local government has stayed its hand from dipping deeper into our pockets for one more year. Imagine instead a Hamilton County that has NO property taxes of any kind. Property taxes are a perpetual slap in the face; an annual taunt that reminds us that we don’t really own our homes—we just own the right to pay the government rent.

Now, most readers like the idea of NO property taxes at all, because they understand how much money this will save them as consumers and residents in Hamilton County. But many of them know what those property taxes fund and are concerned about what will happen to those things if all property taxes disappear; for example, education. How will we fund local education without taxes? I have actually had people tell me we cannot fund education without taxes, and that is simply not the case. Education in the Western World was privately funded for hundreds of years before the Department of Education was established. Not only can education be funded without taxes, it has been successfully done before in an age with far fewer technological advantages and advancements.

We, the people of Hamilton County, will fund education the same way millions of people without capital get their projects and organizations funded everyday—storytelling. All of the marketing, capital campaigning, and crowdfunding is about telling a great story that resonates in the human imagination. People are willing to invest in a mission and vision they find to be worthy of their dollars. It happens everyday—people voluntarily give their neighbors money without the government forcing them to do so through taxation! Imagine a county in which schools are funded through a compelling story rather than coercive taxes. That is a story I want to be involved in. Don’t you?

Americans give away trillions of dollars every year to individuals and organizations that are telling a great story and doing great things in the world. Trillions! And with today’s Internet technology, the ability to communicate and connect people at the click of a button, telling your neighbors the amazing vision—the great story—of your school will be the easiest it has ever been. The citizens of Hamilton County will have a deeper, truer investment in the future of our children.

We live in a world where individuals possess the imagination that drives them toward the goal of colonizing Mars, so it cannot be that we lack the ability to figure out a way to successfully fund education without taxes. Imagine a Hamilton County that fully empowers each individual and community with better choices. We will be forced to think about HOW and WHAT we are teaching, and WHY. Our goals in education could change drastically. We will have to deeply consider the current story of the American education system and govern ourselves toward a solution that fits our kids—free from the coercion that we currently face from D.C. and even Nashville.

The elimination of property taxes altogether should be our goal as citizens. Let’s cast a better vision for our children: a vision of self-governance, voluntary exchange, and innovation. Let’s begin the next chapter of Hamilton County’s story—a chapter entitled “Life Without Property Taxes.”

ArticleNate Xanders