Like the multi-headed Hydra of Greek Mythology, at every turn a different agency pops up with regulations and ruses to steal private property from its rightful owners.
The first plank in Marx’s Communist Manifesto is the abolition of private land ownership. The ultimate goal of those who promote worldwide collectivism here in our country is to eliminate all private property rights using eminent domain abuse, forced annexation, punitive taxation, and condemnation.
If, however, outright confiscation of your land is not immediately practical, other tactics are employed to limit your ability to use and enjoy your land for any worthwhile purpose. This can be accomplished by arbitrary land use restrictions, overly restrictive building permits, oppressive zoning laws, and unconstitutional search and seizure to execute laws that are fabricated or otherwise unenforceable . . . I call this “Theft by Regulation”.
GS 105-277 uses the classic “carrot and stick” subterfuge to give control of private farm land to the government using the “present-use-value” system of property tax discounts. To receive the approximately 65% deferment in property taxes, the law requires farmers who have at least 20 acres of forestland to enroll in a “Sound Management Program for Forestland” that allows the state to restrict private farm and forest land use based on the agenda of environmental extremists. While the initial regulations often seem innocuous, once enrolled, the farmer is trapped by severe monetary penalties into compliance with increasingly onerous regulations. For example, it has been reported that one Orange County (NC) farmer was required by water quality rules to build a fence around his own pond to prevent his cows from drinking the water. Because they operate on such narrow profit margins, farmers growing food are especially susceptible to pressure in order to maintain their tax deferred status.
Although GS 105-277 was passed in 2002, it is only recently that attempts have been made by the NC Department of Revenue to enforce the forest management plan requirement. As part of the plan to force compliance, regional meetings are being held in which a representative of the Department of Revenue and a forest management expert explain the requirements for a forest management plan.
What farmers are NOT told, however, is that the legislation contains a waiver process so that they can maintain their PUV tax deferred status WITHOUT having a forest management plan. A farmer who owns more than 20 acres of forest can receive a waiver if the forest land acts as a natural buffer to diminish wind erosion, protect water quality or buffer livestock or poultry operations.
The Farm Land Management Task Force of the Citizens Constitutional Caucus has created a flyer informing farmers of their rights. Print copies to distribute to farmers in your area.
Please join us in fighting the theft of private property rights by posting and distributing these flyers in feed and seed stores, farm supply stores, supermarkets, and in any other venues you feel appropriate to spread the message.
Remember – Without farmers, there is no food.