POLITICS: OWNERSHIP. Do you really own your House/Land?

Discussion about Land Ownership we had over at from F.Book.
The Comments are Excellent.
Please leave your Thoughts.
The Question:
OWNERSHIP: For those who have bought a house/land or are thinking of buying a house/land:
Do you really ‘own’ that house/land?
Some say you do not.

Your Thoughts? 


1. Helen Gu: well-asked! 

2. Daniel Ship: I’ve always thought it was an arrogant and extremely destructive concept — ownership. Having said that, I would love to have my own island somewhere with coconuts and fish and a garden! 

3. Tobie Openshaw: If you’ve paid for it, the deed is signed over to you, then yes, you “own” it in a legal sense. And you could say “Oh well, I don’t REALLY own this land you know, it belongs to the greater cosmos.” but only until someone lese comes along and tries to run you off it. Then there’s of course also teh idea that if you have occupied land for a period of time, worked it and developed it, put in your sweat and toil, that that somehow gives you ownership rights of it. 

4. Thomas Steenson: The oligarchy of each nation actually owns the allodial title to land. You pay taxes (rent) directly to them who own the banks. They have the monopoly of murderous violence by which they “protect” your property rights within their zoo.
If you did actually own the allodial title to someplace, YOU would be the King, and you could make your own law and so on. 

5. Boston Paul: Tobie, what happens when you don’t pay taxes on that land/house? 😉 

Thomas, I was waiting for you bro… I needed to learn the word ‘allodial’ again. Thanks. Hope to see you soon. 

Daniel bro… when you get that Island let me know. 

I’ll help build. 

Looking for those who have bought a house to pipe up. 😉 

6. Michael T. Lane: I own a house. Well, no I don’t. In Taiwan, for a foreigner to own land is a process far too long and arduous to undertake when you can just own it in a spouse’s name. But we own it as far as the bank goes. It’s ours to do with as we will and our burden to bear if we don’t make the monthly payments.
I don’t know how I feel about whether I own the house or the land, but I do know for certain that I own my “home”. Anyone comes on “my land” unwelcome, I will call the cops and settle it judiciously. Anyone comes in my home unwelcome and I won’t think twice about driving them out in a far less civilized manner. 

7. Tobie Openshaw: If you don’t pay the taxes etc. to which you agreed to in the democratic system, then you could lose ownership of your property, yes. The state does have that right (and that right also protects YOU if you are the wronged one.) 

Oh and yes I owned a house before. 

8. Dwayne Young: What if ya own ya house and then the Govt. decides to put a highway through where your house and land is situated?
You have no say,you have to sell your house to them for the said price…is that really owning your house/land?
This is happening to people here in Auckland now and i know it happened in China prior to the Olympics. 

9. Boston Paul: I bought a pen. It is mine. I own it. I can do what I want with it. It’s mine. The tax I paid was included in the payment.
A ‘home’ is a bit of an abstract concept.
A home is something we make and it can be anywhere.
Interestingly the translation of home in Chinese is ‘jia’ which also means ‘family’ while a ‘house’ is a ‘fangzi’, the Chinese separate the two.
Tobie, did we actually agree? Did we do so reluctantly or unwittingly? If the State can take it away for whatever reason, then it is not actually ours, then is it? At least I am sure of my trusty pen. 😉
Dwayne hit the nail on the head there.
Owning a House is then a Fallacy or Farce, isn’t it? 

10. James Murray: The state could just as easily take away ‘your’ pen, should they pass legislature to that effect… All ownership is conditional, houses and other fixed assets are not in a unique category of ownership… 

11. Lance Carroll: unless the government or some form of law needs that pen more then you – then you forfeit the right to the pen based upon Eminent domain. 

12. Cousin Avi 1. Don’t take legal advice from people who don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about. Especially people with silly ass notions about squatters eventually gaining ownership by the application of effort over time. It ain’t that simple.
2. You can only buy the rights that are owned by the vendor. For example, if they own a share, or a life estate, or some other form of limited rights, that’s all they can sell you. If you want to own the property in fee simple, you need to be certain the vendor can convey same (and is so doing). This requires the services of competent counsel.
3. Ownership in fee simple may or may not include the mineral rights, water rights, air space, etc., depending on statute in the jurisdiction.
Seek legal advice 

13. Alonzo Lively: The taxes are the simple truth about land or property, as well as the self serving oligarchy’s that are practically every government of the world. You can never truly “own” anything from a car to property. It’s like getting taxed to build a highway and then getting a toll to drive on it. You built it with tax money yet you need to pay for it again and again to drive on it. It’s the same for houses. You buy it but if you don’t pay the taxes even if you own it the governments of most nations will simply take it from you regardless of situation. So the actual concept of ownership of anything is just an illusion. 

You basically own yourself sort of, and if you don’t pay taxes of some sort you can have your freedom taken away as well. The island deal sounds good because you could possibly start your own government not based on taxes and people could actually own something after paying for it instead of continuous payment forever by way of taxes. I don’t want to even get going on Eminent Domain because that almost pisses me off more then taxes. 

14. Tobie Openshaw:
We are having not-so-serious debate about the philosophical implications of property ownership, Avi – not making work for lawyers. 

15. Lance Carroll: If we can’t own property – are we allowed to own thoughts or ideas? Just curious since I am currently downloading some nice movies! 

16. Alonzo Lively: Yes you can own your thoughts until committed into an institution and force fed thoughts. Then you are renting others thoughts but not being taxed at least. 

17. Bad Andy: seems like arguing you don’t “own” something based on your ill-justified dislike of taxes or eminent domain is just using semantics to make a poor argument at best. As James noted, it would seem obvious that in most societies ownership of anything is conditional based on obeying the law, if you break the law then your may forfeit the right to own things based on a reasonable legal interpretation. 

If you didn’t pay taxes there wouldn’t be a street outside your house to drive to it on or utility poles to carry your electricity, you couldn’t get mail or water etc etc. Everyone uses the things taxes by therefore you need to pay taxes on your earnings to be a responsible member of society. If you don’t want to do this then go build a cabin in the wilderness or something. 

I’m sure I can say the same for eminent domain and freeways etc. Everyone drives on the freeway and uses railroads, if they couldn’t build those then we wouldn’t be able to get where we need to go. I think this is just what George Carlin calls “NIMBY” syndrome, no one cares about eminent domain until it’s their house being imposed upon. 

18. Dwayne Young: What if you paid ya taxes and obeyed the laws but the Govt takes your property and gives you what they think it is worth?
Fuck all the technical talk,in layman’s terms that is not ownership.It amazes me how people can go out of their way to justify bullshit…Too many know all’s. 

19. Christine Peterson: Nope, we don’t own it…never will the bank owns it for the next 15 years, then town of plymouth owns it if we ever fall behind on our taxes, thats how it goes…and they raise taxes every year 

20. Leanie Wessels: as long as I paid for it, it’s mine and I dont care about the government. Should I fail to pay land taxes so be it. move and do the same elsewhere. As long as Im led to believe the property is mine I couldnt be bothered as long as I can do with it whatever I want . 

21. Alonzo Lively: Exactly Christine. I have no problem paying taxes, as long as it’s a win win for individuals and the government. I realize that roads and railways, police and fire departments come from taxes so that is a stupid argument. The problem is how these taxes go up and up and are continuously being spent on very stupid things. Also, I lived in the US before I came to Taiwan and was a homeowner. In 4 years during the housing bubble my housing tax went up 220% which is totally BS. Now this may not have affected me as much because I am younger, but the tens of thousands of fixed income elderly homeowners used to paying the same taxes year after year were foreclosed on left and right. Does everybody realize that America and Libya are the only 2 countries that tax citizens on bank accounts when working in foreign countries? I mean it’s really out of hand, and with the bailouts and deficit rising I think the worst is coming. 

22. Bad Andy: so keep your money in a Taiwanese bank, no problem 

23. Horst Björngobler: I don’t know if we ‘own’ the land or not in any other than a legal sense, but we sure paid for it. 

24. John Edward DeShiro: You don’t own anything you pay taxes on. If you think you own it, stop paying your taxes, and see what happens. 

25. Steve George: I like that word, allodial. To me Property tax absolutely means that we are merely renting any land we ‘own’ from the government and they will take it back if we stop paying the rent.
There are good reasons for paying taxes in this system we live in, I’m all for income tax and sales tax in order to have many of the services we have. With sales tax we pay it once and then we own something, we don’t keep paying tax on it. It’s fair – the more one consumes the more tax one pays.
I would like to think that if I build up enough resources I could get some nice land to live on and deal with money as little as possible. In this dream world I would use very few of the governments resources and pay a corresponding amount of tax. Annual property tax makes that much harder to do. 

26. Bad Andy: well, you choose how much property tax you pay. You’re free to buy property in Alaska, Nebraska, Wyoming, Eastern Russia, Alberta, Africa, most of South America or any one of a multitude of other places where property tax is nonexistent or almost nothing. 

In essence I agree with Steve on this point I think. If you don’t want to consume public resources (and thus be taxed appropriately) or be worried about eminent domain, don’t buy land in an area which is highly developed? 

27. Alonzo Lively: No actually you choose how much you pay when you buy a house and then state and local governments can jack you up at any rate if it’s not in a tax controlled area such as California where I believe they have a no greater than 5% increase annually. As for Bad Andy’s comment on the Taiwan banks, they are required to report all money in them to the American government where you get taxed on it if you are American for basically the privilege of a passport. That’s basically taxation without representation considering we don’t even have a embassy here. The only way around this is to put all your money into an account in a Taiwanese persons name such as a spouse. 

It’s all apples and oranges in America because if you have no irks about paying any amount of tax, state or government for anything they want to spend it on then your exactly what the government wants which is a taxpaying sheeple that does what it is told regardless of fairness. That is what America is being bred for. Taxpaying people who fear the government so much they will pay anything to keep them at bay. 

In the 40-50’s the top moneymakers in America were taxed up to 90% and from that period have managed to reverse that entirely to practically little to nothing by comparison. If you read what I said I have no problems with paying taxes and I do believe it is the only way to have services that we have at a level of quality that we are used to. The problem is that the services are going in one direction, down, and the prices are going up. Education is a great example of this decline at a higher price year after year.
*Bad Andy, it’s also not a matter of being forced to buy land or property in areas that you mentioned, it’s unregulated and careless spending of the taxes that is the problem. The places you mentioned are not really the best for employment to begin with. But in places where employment is plentiful, or I should say used to be plentiful, you are usually taxed into the ground. It would be great if we simply and a balanced scale across the country. Buying in an area that is undeveloped for the masses is not an option that is feasible. I don’t think anyplace in America has tax free housing on the state level and if so this is the first I have ever heard of it. Even if this does exist, I would assume the sales tax is higher because they always balance it somehow. 

28. Christine Peterson: Alonzo, I pay almost 6,000 a year in taxes, yet they have not paved the road I live on which is town owned, and has ruined a few of my vehicles, and the schools are’nt the greatest…we dont get much for our money here..I also pay a large school bus fee for my daughters to get to school and large dump fees…..
everyone can say sell, and buy somewhere else like South Africa, fat chance…but the market is terrible nothing is selling and our home has depreciated in value we are stuck here to ride out the recession but in the meantime pay ridiculous taxes that are going up as our homes worth is going down…leaving town of Plymouth and banks to own a lot of properties. 

29. Alonzo Lively: Yep I have felt your pain tax wise, Christine. Lucky for me I sold my home in Florida about 6 months before the market crashed. I have about a dozen friends in America that are in the same boat. Upside down on mortgages, bad city conditions, unsellable homes and rising property taxes. Sorry you are going through all this and I hope the market improves. 

30. Artsees Diner: I have often pondered that. One does not own anything unless they have the deed free and clear, in truth whoever holds the deed to that land and the house on it, is the owner. But more importantly since none of us are the original purchasers of said property, there are no “true” owners, or so it seems. Once again dear BP, you posed a ditty! 

31. Boston Paul: Thought provoking posts. I am preparing a note. I have a couple of questions for Andy and James. In the meantime, let’s ponder what ownership is. 

What does it mean to own? 

Let’s take a look at a few definitions I pulled from dictionaries: 


Etymology: Middle English owen, from Old English āgen; akin to Old High German eigan own, Old Norse eiginn, Old English āgan to possess. 

*belonging to oneself or itself —usually used following a possessive case or possessive adjective <cooked my own dinner>
*used to express immediate or direct kinship <an own son> <an own sister>
*adj. Of or belonging to oneself or itself: She makes her own clothes.
*n. That which belongs to one: I wanted a room of my own.
*v. owned, own•ing, owns 

~To have or possess as property: owns a chain of restaurants.
~To have control over: For a time, enemy planes owned the skies.
~To admit as being in accordance with fact, truth, or a claim; acknowledge.
~ By one’s own efforts: She got the job on her own.
~ Responsible for oneself; independent of outside help or control: He is now out of college and on his own.
~belonging to oneself or itself usually used following a possessive case or possessive adjective
~ used to express immediate or direct kinship
~transitive verb: to have or hold as property
~ possess: to have power or mastery over 

*Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property, which may be an object, land/real estate or intellectual property. Ownership involves multiple rights, collectively referred to as title, which may be separated and held by different parties. The concept of ownership has existed for thousands of years and in all cultures. Over the millennia, however, and across cultures what is considered eligible to be property and how that property is regarded culturally is very different. Ownership is the basis for many other concepts that form the foundations of ancient and modern societies such as money, trade, debt, bankruptcy, the criminality of theft and private vs. public property. Ownership is the key building block in the development of the capitalist socio-economic system. 

*The process and mechanics of ownership are fairly complex since one can gain, transfer and lose ownership of property in a number of ways. To acquire property one can purchase it with money, trade it for other property, receive it as a gift, steal it, find it, make it or homestead it. One can transfer or lose ownership of property by selling it for money, exchanging it for other property, giving it as a gift, being robbed of it, misplacing it, or having it stripped from one’s ownership through legal means such as eviction, foreclosure and seizure. Ownership is self-propagating in that the owner of any property will also own the economic benefits of that property. 

Now please re-read the statements above. Be back soon. 

32. Roland Le Lopez: Capt. Jack sparrow owned a jar of dirt. that was owned land. as far as beachfront in taiwan impossible to own the g-men can take it in event of threat to taiwan…we dont own nuttin in the big picture….YOU CANT TAKE IT WITH YA’…. 

33. Artsees Diner: I own my underwear. That I know for sure. I do not have any credit cards, I do borrow a car that is paid for dearly every month from a horrible American car manufacturer, my creditor owns it, and lets me know every time I dare to be a day late with my borrowed time. I own the food that I am eating at present. In truth, I own me, I might let people take the best of me, but I own that…I will read, and reread. 

34. Sammy Hoffa: Nothing is yours till you have paid it off. Seems the world has problems with paying things off. 

Boston Paul wrote on January 11, 2010:

35. Boston Paul: ALLODIAL seems to sums up the ‘do you own your land?’ question. 

Here is what wiki says about allodial: 

*Allodial title is a concept in some systems of property law. It describes a situation where real property (land, buildings and fixtures) is owned free and clear of any encumbrances, including liens, mortgages and tax obligations. Allodial title is inalienable, in that it cannot be taken by any operation of law for any reason whatsoever. 

In common legal use, allodial title is used to distinguish absolute ownership of land by individuals from feudal ownership, where property ownership is dependent on relationship to a lord or the sovereign. Webster’s first dictionary (1825 ed) says allodium is “land which is absolute property of the owner, real estate held in absolute independence, without being subject to any rent, service, or acknowledgement to a superior. It is thus opposed to feud.” 

True allodial title is rare, with most property ownership in the common law world—primarily, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland—described more properly as being in fee simple. In particular, land is said to be “held of the Crown” in England and Wales and the Commonwealth realms. In England, there is no allodial land, all land being held of the Crown; even in the United States most lands are not allodial, as evidenced by the existence of property taxes. Some of the Commonwealth realms (particularly Australia) recognise native title, a form of allodial title that does not originate from a Crown grant. 

In France, while allodial title existed before the French Revolution, it was rare and limited to ecclesiastical properties and property that had fallen out of feudal ownership. After the French Revolution allodial title became the norm in France and other civil law countries that were under Napoleonic legal influences. Interestingly Quebec adopted a form of allodial title when it abolished feudalism in the mid-nineteenth century making the forms of ownership in Upper and Lower Canada remarkably similar in substance. 

Property owned under allodial title is referred to as allodial land, allodium, or an allod. 

*Legal concept: 


Allodial lands are the absolute property of their owner and not subject to any service or acknowledgment to a superior. An allodial title is the opposite of a feudal tenure such as fee simple. The derivation of the word is still doubtful, though it is probably compounded of the Germanic all, whole or entire, and odh, property.  Allodial tenure seems to have been common throughout northern Europe, but is now unknown in common law jurisidictions apart from the United States.  Allodial titles are known as udal tenure in Orkney and Shetland, the only parts of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland where they exist.

*In the United States, “To say that land is owned ‘allodially’ is a fiction. All land under United States government jurisdiction is subject to expropriation by way of eminent domain.” 

Before 1774, all land in the American colonies could also be traced to royal grants, usually one grant creating each colony. The original grantee (recipient of the land) then sold or granted parcels of land within his/her grant to private citizens and other legal entities. However, when the colonies won the Revolutionary War, they did not want to retain a feudal system of land ownership. The Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended formal hostilities and recognized American independence, also had the effect of ending any residual rights held by the original grantees or the Crown. Essentially, this merely recognized that no person holding land in the new United States owed any allegiance or duty to the Crown or any English noble. There is no specific reference to allodial title in the text of the treaty. Some states created a form of allodial title while others retained the tenurial system with the state as the new ultimate landholder. 

Apart from land that was formally owned at the time of the Revolutionary War, most American landholders can trace their title back to grants by the federal or state governments of land obtained by purchase (Louisiana Purchase, Florida, Alaska), treaty (the Ohio Valley, New Mexico, Arizona, and California), or annexation (Texas, Hawaii). However, in reality, previous grants prior to those territories becoming U.S. possessions were recognized. In fact, in Dartmouth College v. Woodward, the United States Supreme Court ruled a New Hampshire law that attempted to revoke the land grant to Dartmouth College from King George III was unconstitutional. 

*Many state constitutions (Arkansas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York) refer to allodial title, but only to clearly distinguish it from feudal title, which appears to be illegal throughout the United States. The conditions under which the government can compel the sale of privately owned real property for public benefit are established by eminent domain laws of either the federal or state governments, respectively. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires just compensation for eminent domain compelled sale. The right of the several states to tax real estate is preserved in the Constitution. In addition, the government powers of police power, and escheat have been retained in the American legal system. 

*Allodial title advocates 

Some groups say references to allodial title in state constitutions and (allegedly) the Treaty of Paris give property owners absolute, inalienable title to their property.

These groups include: 

Tax protestors: Some tax protesters deny the legal power of municipal and state governments to tax property on the basis that allodial title cannot be alienated by failure to pay those taxes. However, most private property (to include all property in the United States) is not held in true allodial title, which would be the only title exempting the title holder from any tax. 

Mortgagors: Persons who have overextended themselves and face foreclosure often try to create an allodial title. As allodial title cannot be alienated by seizure by a creditor, they claim the foreclosure by the mortgagee is illegal. However, by its nature, allodial title cannot be mortgaged in the first place, and an attempt to create allodial title on land that is subject to encumbrance by debt is impossible. Actually a contract can be created by an owner of allodial property with a mortgagee resulting in the transfer of title under certain circumstances such as default on a loan, thus that land falls out of the allodial title domain as it is essentially jointly owned and governed by contract by both the mortgagee and mortgagor. Once the mortgagee releases the contract as satisfied in full, the ownership reverts entirely back to the owner. There was a time when one was considered a fool to mortgage allodial land and thus give up allodial ownership as among other penalties the owner often lost the right of a freeholder to vote. 

Anti-zoning groups: Persons who own agricultural land that faces re-zoning due to encroaching urbanization often claim that zoning laws that control agricultural use of property are illegal as they constitute an encumbrance on allodial title. They claim that only the law of nuisance applies to persons holding allodial title. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of zoning laws on a very broad basis, even though such laws all post-date the 1787 Constitution.
Schemes to obtain allodial title usually advise property owners to file a deed of allodial title with the local registry office, or to publish a notice of allodial title in a local newspaper. However, neither these or any other method is recognised by U.S. courts, and attempts to improperly assert an allodial title in U.S. courts may be classified as a “frivolous claim”. 

Boston Paul (continued):  Andy, I am not opposed to taxes per-se. But most Americans do not know where their taxes are going, which is ironic since our Revolutionary Cry was 

“NO taxation without REPRESENTATION!” 

State taxes go to Public Services such as Roads etc. 

But where does your federal tax dollar go? 

Most of it goes to paying off the interest on the Federal Debt & Military Spending.  

Hardly an ill-justified dislike of taxes, Andy my friend. 

~ James, The State has tried (and often succeeded through deceit or violence) in taking ____ away from its Populace. But grab any History book and read about when the People revolted. 

The Pen is MINE and all the legislation in the world will not change that. 

When William Wallace was finally caught (through deceit) and told to bow before his English King, Wallace replied, 

‘this is not my King. I did not choose this King.” 

I am an Earthling first. 

Governments/The State are meant to SERVICE the People not control them. 

People forget this. 

Look how out of hand things have gotten. 

My Conclusion? 

Under the current system, 


It is a farce. 

Peaces of LUV 

36. Tyler Dakin: Yvonne and I have been currently looking at houses, and I’ve often wondered what exactly is up with property tax … I mean it’s not like a sales tax that you pay once and that’s it. What exactly do you get for paying that tax? More taxes? Is there birthing tax that I don’t know about? This has been a very interesting read, thanks. 

Boston Paul: 

Would still love to hear your thoughts. 

You will find this Discussion on the Refuge Discussion Board here: 






This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc.         

This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law.         

This material is distributed without profit.        

%d bloggers like this: