Monday, January 21, 2008

What's Yours is Mine

Todays Blade includes a letter to the editor by one Adele Ferderman. She claims that private beachfront property should be public land, accessable to all, because public funds were used in lake cleanup.

Beaches along public waters should be open to the public whose tax money has developed, cleaned, and improved these waters. Property owners of waterfront property should not be the sole enjoyers of the benefits for which this public tax money was spent.

Ms. Federman, those property owners pay taxes on the property you wish access to, not "the public." In fact, their property taxes are based on property values, which are (surprise) higher than equivilent landlocked properties. The property ends at the water's edge (and owners are not taxed on property under water), so, if you wish to trapse along in the water, you're more than welcome to. However, step one foot upon dry land and you're tresspassing.

What's so disturbing is not that Ms. Federman wants to run along your beach without your permission, doing as she pleases; but rather that the contention that any public dollars spent on a project immediately renders it public property. Does this mean I'm entitled to a new Jeep - after all they're constructed on land provided by "public tax money."

Here's a thought: public dollars were spent on the clean-up of Lake Erie to benefit the public at large. And you do benefit, Ms. Federman, every time you turn on your water tap.


Barb said...

Good post! It's also important that we reserve public parks and beaches for the public.

Right Wing Toledo said...

We do have many beaches for public use Barb, including a large one just east of Toledo. What rankles me, however, is this prevailing wind that public dollars equates to public access, in whatever way an individual requests it. In this case, the clean-up of Lake Erie could generally be described as a "public work," a project undertaken by the government because no private entity was capable of it. And, in fact, public and governmental entities do benefit from the clean-up. The cleaner water is easier to transform into a potable version, reducing the costs to the government.

The key word in your comment, Barb, is "reserve." Many on the left would replace that word with "acquire", meaning "seize from private landowners."

Barb said...

I think my post was lost --got an error report. I said you sound like a lake front owner --as I am. And I agree that gov't should not ignore private property rights to confiscate frontage for the public. They could buy it, however.

Clean lakes do indeed benefit everyone.

Right Wing Toledo said...

I'm not a waterfront property owner, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. :) Don't forget, however, that the specter of the government seizing your land - and selling it to private developers is never far away in this town.