Property Tax Elimination:
Traveling around and talking with the people of the 9th Congressional District, no issue is more discussed than that of the crushing effects of rising school property taxes. While some view this solely as a state issue, I believe Congress can help hardworking taxpayers, here and in other states, who are being crushed by rising property taxes and are in danger of losing their homes.
Who hasn’t heard a story of a senior citizen, living on a fixed income, who worked hard all their life, paid off their mortgage, only to lose the home they worked so hard for because their school property taxes were increased?
School Property taxes are un-American and unconstitutional, as no tax should have the power to leave you homeless.
America’s Founders understood clearly that private property is the foundation not only of prosperity but of freedom itself. Thus, through the common law, state law, and the Constitution they protected property rights—the rights of people to freely acquire, use, and dispose of property.
The chief constitutional provision under which state property tax problems come before the Federal courts is the Fourteenth Amendment. Here both the due process and the equal protection clauses are involved.
The Fourteenth Amendment reads:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The government does not have the right to take property away from someone without due process of law or without providing equal protections under the law.
Additionally, in Article VI, Clause 2, the founders are very clear that state laws cannot contradict Federal law.
Clause 2. This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby; any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
Under the Constitution, the Federal government is prohibited from imposing direct taxes unless those taxes are given to the states in proportion to population. That is why direct school property tax have not been imposed and therefore it is unconstitutional for any state to institute a school property tax.
Should I be elected, I will introduce legislation that protects property owners and instructs states that they must fully eliminate school property taxes within three years in order to come into compliance with the Constitution. This legislation will ensure that families will not be taxed out of their homes, especially our seniors living on a fixed income.