I still haven't completely paid my property taxes. I know, I know. Calm down. Inherently more interesting than my slackedness in this most solemn of obligations ( according to some people) is the reaction from the entity of the local tax authority.
From their air-conditioned offices up the road they dispatched to me via the U.S.Post Office a small envelope that appeared to be from some outside contractor. It featured the same 'tear to open' style that a W-2 or 1099 arrives in. Emblazoned on the outside was the phrase 'IMPORTANT TAX INFORMATION INSIDE'. On the inside was a missive that addressed me as 'Dear Taxpayer'. My first thought was that not only was this insultingly anonymous and form-letter-ish, but it was very disingenuous. I highly doubt that I am 'dear' to them, except insomuch as their continued livelihood relies on my compliance. I think the word for that is 'parasite'.
The letter went on to say that their firm had been retained by the local tax authority in order to, if necessary implement a lien against my property, and if necessary facilitate the sale of my property to satisfy the number that the tax authority has decided I owe them. The letter gave me a deadline to meet, and failing to meet that deadline, a vaguely menacing process will be initiated, including the very real chance of the sale of my property. Fret not, I've got the money.
But ponder for a moment the sheer insanity of their demand. After all, that's what it is; a demand. The tax authority came up with an amount and, having offered me no services, demanded that I pay this amount. When I did not meet this demand in their timeline, they retained a firm to club me with. Their insanity is perfectly illustrated by the fact that they refer to it as 'your property' three times in this brief letter, and in the same paragraph, claim the ability to sell 'my' property.
My remaining tax bill is less than 500 dollars, but this firm appears to have been empowered by the tax authority to sell something they do not own in order to meet this obligation that I did not agree to. They are exercising a power I could not exercise, and a power nobody should be able to exercise. And as obvious as it is that nobody should be able to sell the property of another (especially as I doubt my acreage would sell for only 500 bucks and I also doubt I would receive the difference), somehow the tax authority has this counter-intuitive ability to sidestep the natural laws of property.
When people refer to taxation as theft, or say that the power to tax is the power to destroy this is exactly what they mean. With the power of the tax authority jabbing me in the ribs, I have no choice but to consent to the highwayman's demands. I'll give them their money, in person, and, if I get the chance, tell them exactly what I think of their filthy business. I won't pretend that it's legitimate or that it's anything less than thievery.