Each Fourth of July week, I devote my column to a reminder that we live in a special place where anyone is allowed to own their own property. This is no insignificant thing; our right to have and to hold property is the bedrock of our free society, and I believe this right should be actively defended against encroachments.
The scourge of property tax has been on the chopping block for years, but we lack the political will to make it happen in Harrisburg — let’s keep the pressure on to get this eliminated. Owners can lose their property in a number of ways connected to taxation, all of which I disagree with.
Congress is also once again looking at eliminating the mortgage interest deduction — nice for them (I doubt they have mortgages) but not so nice for the rest of us, who have to finance to get into a home. And it goes on. Government loves a sitting target, and property owners aren’t going anywhere. We need to stay diligent.
Speaking of diligence, I always appreciate the National Association of Realtors for theirs in this area. The preamble of the Code of Ethics is noteworthy:
Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. REALTORS® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership…. Such interests impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty to which REALTORS® should dedicate themselves, and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves.
Patriotic duty? Yes, absolutely. Lest I run the risk of being too mushy about this: I truly believe our industry must lead the way in preserving and promoting the true “American Dream.” Whether you own a home, a business or both, never forget that you, too, are an active participant in the American experiment in liberty and democracy. Be sure you rise to the occasion as our forefathers did.
Have a great Independence Day, all.
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