Aurora’s Gaylord Vote Illustrates Politicization of Property

A story from today’s Denver Post illustrates the politicization of property in America: “The Aurora City Council on Monday voted unanimously to designate as ‘blighted’ 125 acres of vacant land near Denver International Airport.” The vote paves the way for Gaylord Entertainment to build a hotel without paying the same property taxes as everyone else.

Of course the “blight” designation is a complete fraud. By the same standards, most any property in Colorado could be declared “blighted.” And yet the statutes encourage local politicians to flagrantly lie for political gain.

When local politicians may arbitrarily declare property “blighted,” that gives them an trump on private property rights. True, all levels of government have substantially eroded property rights in America, but local governments have done perhaps the most damage.

The “blight” designation is tied into a discriminatory tax scheme. Under Colorado law, some taxpayers are more equal that others. If you run a long-established family business, you get screwed with the highest possible tax rates. If you are a flashy out-of-state (or out-of-country) corporation, you can finagle special tax breaks. Not only do discriminatory taxes violate basic standards of fairness and equality under the law, they promote bureaucratic ass-kissing as the standard method of conducting business.

Politicians ought not be in the “business” of violating private property rights or playing tax favorites. Instead, they should protect property rights for everyone, establish low, even taxes for all comers, and then let businesses succeed or fail on a free market.

Geoff Granfield posted the following comment onJune 29, 2012 at 3:23 PM:
There is not a single policy I’ve heard of changing the tax code which wasn’t greeted with strong amount of resistance, establishing that issue among the most difficult difficulties struggling with United States now. It can be unfair, it doesn’t matter what facet on the controversy you land on. And while people in politics show they have kept our income taxes small federally, state government legislatures (from either side) have been acquiring unique methods to make up the reduction in revenue. Precisely how imaginative is your current state?