Property Rights

What position does the Libertarian Party of West Virginia take on Property Rights?


The right to property and its physical resources is the fundamental cornerstone of a free and prosperous society, but it has been severely compromised by government at all levels. Public Policy instruments including eminent domain, zoning laws, building codes, rent control, regional planning, property taxes, resource management and public health legislation remove property rights from owners and transfer them to the State, while raising costs of property ownership. Public ownership of real property, beyond that which is explicitly authorized in the Constitution, and claims against resources both owned and un-owned (such as the oceans or waterways) is illegitimate and creates scarcity and conflict where none would otherwise exist.


Only individuals and private entities have the full right to control, use, dispose of, or in any manner enjoy their property without interference, until and unless the exercise of their control infringes on the valid rights of others. Resource management and planning are the responsibility and right of the legitimate owners of land, water and other natural resources. Individuals have the right to homestead un-owned resources, both within the jurisdictions of governments and within such unclaimed territory as the ocean, Antarctica and extraterrestrial bodies.


All public lands and resources, as well as claims thereto, except as explicitly allowed by the Constitution, must be returned to private ownership, with the proceeds of sale going to retire public liabilities. Resource rights shall be defined as property rights, including riparian rights. All publicly owned infrastructures including dams and parks shall be returned to private ownership and all taxing authority for such public improvements must end. Property related services shall be supplied by private markets and paid for by user fees, and regulation of property shall be limited to that which secures the rights of individuals. The federal government shall be held as liable as any individual for pollution or other transgression against property or resources.


Transitional Action:
Rescind all taxation of real property. Property, resources and rights taken from their legitimate owners by government or by government supported private action, shall be restored to the rightful owners. Reverse legislation decisions regarding eminent domain. Repeal all legislation that transfers property rights to the state, including those enacted in the name of aesthetic values, risk, moral standards, cost-benefit estimates, the promotion or restriction of economic growth, health or national security claims. Eliminate all federal agencies that own, regulate or administer property, as well as agencies at the local level which exercise control over private property and resources. Rescind and oppose all international treaties that exercise government control over un-owned resources.