Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Extraordinary abuse of taxing power in Memphis

All of the power, authority and money that government possesses is granted to it by the citizens. One of the most awesome and extraordinary powers that government exercises is taxation. This is the power to take the private property of citizens. It is the only instance where we allow government to take our property without being directly compensated.

In Memphis, the city council has raised property taxes so they are now, by a large margin, the highest in the entire state. Taxes are so high that thousands of residents have moved out of the City. Instead of returning taxes to a level that promotes economic growth, the city council has simply extended their ability to hand out tax reduction favors.

This is a major corruption of the taxing authority and means there will be far less motivation to keep taxes low. It also increases the possibility, and in fact makes it quite likely, that government officials will be seduced into criminal corruption by handing out these tax reductions to friends and business associates.