What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

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7Wannabe5
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What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:34 am

Likely this topic has been previously addressed, but maybe I can give it a new spin.

I recently hit large rubber bumper* in my attempt to further reduce living expenses right around Jacob level ($7000/yr.) Shelter or "residence", in one form or another seems to be the least budge-able budget line. In my mind, I have somehow conflated this modern reality with the archaic reality that granted only property owners the right to vote. It seems to me that at bare minimum an individual either has to:

1) Pay property taxes and costs associated with adherence to local building/residency code. (Such as I am now facing with having to construct cement pad on which to park my camper on land to which I hold free and clear title.)

2) Pay transportation cost in order to avoid falling subject to vagrancy law. (Might have to burn 2000 calories and 5 cents boot leather walking from one two week camping stay in federal forest to another.)

3) Provide some sort of labor in barter for "free" shelter/residency. (Might have to spend hour/day caring for pet in exchange for free house-sit, so housing really costs something like $300/month, if $10/hr could otherwise be earned at margin.)

So what is the minimum an individual would have to spend in order to stay legal, warm/dry and retain right to vote in some realm? Please include likley lost alternative investment opportunity proceeds and open market value of barter labor in calculation.

*So, I turned right around and proceeded on alternative quest to increase hourly wage, and I am seeing great success already!!! Yay, me!!!

ether
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by ether » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:08 am

lol I love the term "head tax" !
Honestly I don't think you're going to get much cheaper than $300/month. Anything below that level and you won't have an address or utilities.
Your best bet is cohabitation. But the best route is buying a distressed multi family property and renting it out at market price.

James_0011
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by James_0011 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:38 pm

Free if you camp out permanently

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BRUTE
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by BRUTE » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:20 pm

life isn't free. in fact, it's a constant money sink. life requires resources and input and produces wastes that need to be dealt with. no way around that.

brute would say that it probably requires the equivalent of 5-10h per week, if including rudimentary shelter, rudimentary food, etc.

7Wannabe5
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:06 am

@ether: I think Jacob first used the term "head tax" in this manner. I don't disagree with your estimate of $300 being near rock-bottom, but why is this the case? I mean, it's not like it is a law of physics.

@James_0011: Is there anywhere you can camp permanently without being in violation of some regulation?

@BRUTE: I agree that there is some core, rudimentary cost of keeping yourself alive, but what I am trying to get at here is the minimum cost associated with being allowed to live in peace in the context of society or in relationship to the "gubbermint" or whomever rules over the realm(s) in which you attempt to purchase right to settle or roam.

The rights purchased in different contexts can vary a good deal and even be opposite. For instance, I could purchase right to park my camper in campground for $10/night, but that $10 would not purchase me the right to grow crop of pumpkins on my campsite. OTOH, I do (currently anyways :x ) have the right to grow crop of pumpkins on my vacant lots, but I do not have the right to park my camper.

My ex-brother-in-law owns a home in Colorado which is located on land that does not include rain water rights (they belong to some ranch), so it is illegal for him to collect water in a barrel from his roof. Composting toilets do not comply with code in vast majority of U.S. communities. You could not keep a cow in order to meet your own need for cheese in a backyard in Metro Cleveland, etc. etc. etc.

So, if we consider just the cost associated with disposal of waste, this might be represented by some portion of your rough camping fee that goes towards maintenance of outhouse, or it could be represented by your investment in septic system that meets local code on your large rural holding, or it could be represented by line item for sewage on urban water bill, etc. etc. etc.

Toska2
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by Toska2 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:23 am

Why?

Two reasons:
1. We are a society with land rights and consequently consider land has value. We also try improve its value with public works. (Land costs, property taxes)
2. It's easier to buy than to make. The cost of clothing, food storage, and shelter all have costs. This society has allowed me to specialize at cashiering or waitressing so that I may earn enough money in a week to be clothed for a year.

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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by IlliniDave » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:40 am

James_0011 wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:38 pm
Free if you camp out permanently
The only downside is you have to change camp sites at least once every two weeks in the national forests I'm familiar with that charge a flat entry fee rather than a per-night fee. And that's for primitive camping, not bring in your RV, hook up to power and water, and get the DirecTv dish aligned camping.

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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by sky » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:24 am

A nonprofit organization, or a religious organization can own land without paying property tax. If you were to set up a nonprofit to teach gardening techniques, you might be able to avoid property taxes. Or put up a garden shed meditation room with an appropriate religious symbol on top of it, and get ordained.

Putting down brick pavers likely does not require building permits or approvals.

Jean
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by Jean » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:57 am

My house costs me 2000 a year in tax+insurance+interest.
But should one had the opportunity cost of what i could earn if i where to sell the house and invest the money elsewhere?
As i rent it, it provides me an address, storing space and 750 (minus 200) a month but about 2 years of salary are immobilized in it.
It looks like a negativ head tax to me.

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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by JamesR » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:16 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:06 am
My ex-brother-in-law owns a home in Colorado which is located on land that does not include rain water rights (they belong to some ranch), so it is illegal for him to collect water in a barrel from his roof. Composting toilets do not comply with code in vast majority of U.S. communities.
Makes me think a little of the garbage warrior documentary where a bunch of folks bought land and built their dream eco houses that was totally not to code, and then when the politicians changed they got called on it and the architect had to spend years fighting for licenses and approvals and nonsense. Sucks. But it does make me think that if you can get enough likeminded people to populate a specific county and take over the local government then that'd be one way to get rid of codes that prevent more sustainable housing from being built.

I guess the price depends a lot on location.

James_0011
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by James_0011 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:51 pm

@7wb5

Just go into the woods somewhere remote, probably no one will bother you.

I just watched a documentary about hermits in china who live in the mountains, one man claimed he spent $9 a month.

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Riggerjack
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by Riggerjack » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:50 am

Minimal costs...

Around here, there are river floodplains, flooding regularly. Buy a small chunk of said land, 10kor so. Taxes are minimal. Instead of a junker trailer, have a junker live aboard boat. Put in a proper septic system, 6k, solar cell power, drill your own well, 1k, and you are good. Use the on board head in floods. The snohomish river turns into lake snohomish a few times a decade and lasts about a week.

The hard part is always going to be certificate of occupancy to be properly legal. Perhaps 2 lots, each occupied for6 months at a time, sharing water and septic...

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cmonkey
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by cmonkey » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:04 am

Living in a van on BLM land is probably the closest you can get to "permanent" camping. 2 weeks in the same spot is probably long enough to want to move on anyway. In the remote areas, you'd probably not get caught though. Get a fuel efficient vehicle, learn how to farm the forests and your head tax will plummet.

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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by C40 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:19 am

There are many areas in BLM and National Forests where you will basically never get asked by Rangers to move along. You can drive your camper or whatever there and park. These days, there are a lot of options with cell towers near, so you can get fast internet data. There are also a handful of places you can camp for free that have some type of improvements (pit toilets, a water source, a place to put trash, picnic tables), but you'll likely be limited to 14 days at a time at those places. But... I bet 7wb5 could easily make friends with a good amount of Rangers and then stay however long she wants.

In some areas (really, only a very small %), the Rangers patrol regularly and will tell you when you've hit 14 days. (and I suppose there are probably some that will just give you a ticket with a fine on the 15th day).

7Wannabe5
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:33 am

@Toska2: Your reason (1) does address what I was getting at in terms of the factors that need to be considered in the calculation, but it doesn't directly answer the question about why we are in approximate agreement that the approximate rock-bottom current price of shelter/residence is $300. I guess what I am looking for here is a more thorough break-down of components included in this price. Analogous to the costs, both obvious and hidden, in the choice between:

1) Buy bean burrito at Taco Bell Drive-Thru.
2) Buy bean burrito from freezer case at grocery store/heat in microwave
3) Make bean burrito at home using semi-processed, readily available ingredients
4) Plant wheat, thresh, grind into flour, add lard rendered from hog you raised last year, plant beans...etc. etc. etc.

My point being that there is some point in between 3 and 4 where current societal/economic structure is going to make it net more expensive for you to DIY rather than less expensive. Especially, as you implied with your (2) if you calculate your true hourly wage (as defined YMOYL) to be at least the legal minimum. Obviously, there is some clear, not insignificant, relationship/correlation between legal minimum wage and lowest price shelter/residence, and other easily-related factors such as Section 8 housing allowance, and union plumber wage rate, but what is the egg and what is the chicken?

@IlliniDave: My years of cheap camping site research has resulted in the same conclusion. Minimum cost is you must rough tent camp and change sites every couple weeks. Also, this option is more readily available in regions where it is damn cold in the winter. AND, it should be recognized that this is almost certainly an example of using more than your "fair share" of public/commons resource. IOW, choosing to live for free by camping in a National Forest is essentially no different than choosing to eat for free with a Bridge Card.

@sky: I have considered the option of forming a non-profit. I am not very concerned with negating my property tax burden which is currently less than $30/month. I would like to have an option that would allow for living (or, at least, occasionally camping) on site without having to build a primary residence to current code (minimum footprint 800 square ft., attached to the grid in standard 1950s era fashion, etc. etc.)

The city has already informed me that brick pavers would not serve to meet the requirements of the ordinance, which requires "slab." The Catch 22 is that I can't park a camper without slab, but I can't get permit to construct any permanent structure, including concrete slab, without primary residence on site (or adjacent property.) Street parking is also clearly prohibited, so I am left with only legal options being to sell the camper or park/store it somewhere else, and purchase some sort of clearly small and temporary storage unit for my garden tools on site.

@Jean: I think you should subtract something like 4% (purchase cost) of rental house, add estimated appreciation of the value of the property on open real estate market including investment in improvements, subtract depreciation due to maintenance you have not done (for example, roof only good for 10 more years now vs. 12 years 2 years ago), subtract average ongoing maintenance costs you are experiencing (filter for furnace, gutter cleaning last year, etc.), and subtract your marginal true hourly wage X hours you are spending on part-time landlord work this property requires. Line by line examination of U.S. tax code as applicable to landlords makes this calculation pretty clear, but might vary in your neck of the woods.

@JamesR: Since I am a citizen in good standing in my community, under normal circumstances I might consider entering into such a minor political skirmish, but the current situation is that I have a mentally ill sister somewhat "at loose" and misbehaving in this same community, so I am suffering from some more than usual level of not wanting to flaunt my tendencies towards unconventional behavior.

@James_0011: My BF is currently shopping for some raw rural acreage, so it is possible that I may be able to park my camper without fear of the code police upon his property. I am like a pregnant woman who sees babies everywhere, except what I see EVERYWHERE is campers and motor homes parked on the grass in backyards, front yards, next to the barn, next to the city cemetery, etc, etc. In one particularly "libertarian" community where my BF was inspecting property, there were rusty old single wide trailers with flat roofs parked on residential lots right on the main street!!

The funny thing is that I am also currently employed for the summer as the project manager for a residential renovation for an old friend. In one prior phase of life I owned/renovated a 150 year old house with a completely non-handy husband,and in another prior phase of life I renovated 4 rental properties with a semi-retired very handy landlord "husband." So, suddenly my entire life is consumed with code and contractors, and I am doing work primarily for money that I previously did primarily for love. I am teamed up with my old friend for his renovation, my BF for his property search (with likelihood of development to follow), and a former lover on the design/construction of my permaculture project on my property. Even if you are a complete rogue generalist like me, if you spend enough time on the planet engaged in a variety of projects, eventually you may end up with some kind of fairly valuable adaptable tool kit of skills.

@Riggerjack: Okay, let's say total for your suggested solution would be $40,000 invested with little hope for appreciation of half of capital, and 1000 hours of labor/skill acquisition at $10/hr., so $50,000 total X 4% = $2000 plus $400/yr property taxes/fees/ etc. plus, at least, 100 hours/year maintenance beyond what would be required by something like an efficiency rental in the city ($1000/year), so once again we are looking at something like $300/month. give or take depending on appreciation/depreciation of capital and opportunity cost of alternate possible investment of capital.

@cmonkey: As in my reply to IlliniDave, you have to recognize/accept that you are living on the dole if you are permanently camping on public land. In theory, you could transport minimal survival goods by foot or bike to next site, so I agree this is cheapest solution IF you don't include it in same category as choosing to live in government funded low-income housing, and you don't exclude that as alternate possible solution. For instance, if I was a senior citizen, I would qualify for $150 rent in senior plaza in my community based on my projected social security draw at age 62, but I am not including any "dependency" solutions in my set.

@C40: If I choose to include anything along the lines of "snuggle up to Ranger" in my calculations then that opens up whole nuther complex set of worms. My lifestyle is very odd because part of the reason why I am currently earning money helping my rather eccentric old friend with his renovation is due to the fact that his much younger fiancee is currently making a better living as an escort, so she can't afford to help him.

Toska2
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by Toska2 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:32 pm

Someone is willing​ to take that plot of land and make it produce. Either you or a capitalist (lets say landlord) to produce a room*.

At some points; your inputs > their inputs + profit. This is due to mass scale efficiency (farming, building & industry). This is easier seen in housing than food. Since we use money to facilitate trade, we work for money and buy housing. The availability of earning money (wage) and implied value of the property (location) affect cost.

I found an example of below $300 room. Notice the job market and location. https://up.craigslist.org/roo/6132868020.html

* Building codes also drive up costs significantly. After a few cities burned down brick became mandatory. Water sprinklers, exit lighting, internal plumbing and handicap accessibility all drive up costs to the individual but lower it for society.

7Wannabe5
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:48 pm

@Toska2: I lived in the U.P. for two years, so am well aware that the job market there does not make obtaining employment at even minimum wage a given. So, it makes sense that the base cost of shelter is well under average.

Actually, since I was landlord's lady-friend in a very affluent, high standard and enforcement of building code region, I also know that maximum occupation of a rental equals ((number of bedrooms) X 2) +1.) So, if the landlord was willing to allow a couple to occupy that room in Iron River for small increase, maybe code legal cost of shelter could be reduced to around $100.
Building codes also drive up costs significantly. After a few cities burned down brick became mandatory. Water sprinklers, exit lighting, internal plumbing and handicap accessibility all drive up costs to the individual but lower it for society.
This is what I am trying to pry out. What percentage of the dollar cost of modern shelter is attributable to "being a member of society" as opposed to "keeping yourself dry and warm when it is raining?" My grouch is due to being forced to pay to be a member of a society that enacts/enforces code at idiot proof and/or tyranny of the middle-class masses aesthetic level or something like that.

7Wannabe5
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:02 pm

This is a standard example of public land use code as it applies to camping. Even in the winter in Michigan, you are required to change camp site every 21 days, and your new campsite must be at least a mile away. Permanent or semi-permanent residence is specifically prohibited.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/I ... 2370_7.pdf

James_0011
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by James_0011 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:31 pm

Sure it may be illegal but who cares. In an Alaskan town I lived in for awhile it was common for people to build makeshift cabins deep in the woods on land that they didn't own and no one cared.

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Riggerjack
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by Riggerjack » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:58 pm

Well, 7w5, this again runs into the issues you have in your mind, but don't spell out in your posts.

If we are looking for the minimum head tax for you, that is different than a minimum anywhere.

Looking for a fix for you and code would look like this:

Most code is boilerplate, written by the code councils. So I expect a no more than 180 day limit on staying continuously in an RV. RV must be registered. Only one RV per lot, and I'm guessing Detroit has added the residential requirement to the lot.

So I propose you get a beater truck, that your camper fits on. Mount is dealt with, no pavement required. This gets you compliance for 180 days. You already have second lot. Either move to it, or set up a second set there. Alternate lots more often than 180 days. Get mail, move it with you as proof of residency.

Now for ideal ERE cred, make your house on the second lot a greenhouse, for winter in Detroit is cold. Park your camper on the truck inside the greenhouse.

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Riggerjack
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by Riggerjack » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:01 pm

Though, I expect if we count labor at $10/HR, ego still has all these solutions beat. It works for him, but is way too people intensive for me, thus my land yaught solution.

7Wannabe5
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:21 pm

@James_0011:

According to internet test I took on some other thread, I am core true-blue libertarian in my political orientation, so I guess I don't care about whether solution is legal, but the various likely costs of the civil infraction should be included in calculation. Also, any solution that is known to be in violation of code couldn't really qualify as robust.

@Riggerjack: I wish your suggestion would work, but here is the code to which I am subject (sigh...) (bold italics mine)
§ 150.062 BLIGHT PROHIBITED.
(A) Blight. It is hereby determined that the following structures, uses and activities are causes of or factors encouraging blight which, if allowed to exist, will tend to result in blighted and undesirable neighborhoods.
(B) Blighting factors prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person(s) to maintain or permit to be maintained any of the following causes of blight upon any property in the city owned, leased, rented or occupied by these person(s):
..........

(2) Residential zoning. It shall be unlawful for any person to maintain or permit to be maintained in any area zoned for residential purposes:

............
(c) Park or store any licensed motor vehicle, mobile home, camper, boat or trailer or parts thereof in a rear yard, side yard or front yard unless same is on a concrete slab that prevents weeds and grass from growing underneath the vehicle, provided that no portion of the vehicle is stored in a residential driveway beyond the front wall of either of the two residential structures immediately adjacent to the driveway on which the vehicle is stored or parked;
I thought I had read all relevant code prior to purchase of camper, but only part of the relevant code was available on the city website. I had to dig up the entire code on American Legal Publishing site. I generally do not feel sorry for people who whine about contracts they entered into without due diligence, so I shall try to maintain some semblance of stiff upper lip and/or cheerful acceptance and/or spiritual transcendence of sunk cost.

Also, I am interested in the general rule of thumb. I agree that Ego's solution is very good if he spends less than 30 hours/month on caretaker duties. I could occupy the Princess room of my mother's luxury apartment in affluent district for free indefinitely in exchange for minor help with various tasks, but ...

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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by sky » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:56 pm

So if a concrete slab mysteriously appears and you roll your camper on to it, you would be in compliance?

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Riggerjack
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by Riggerjack » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:02 pm

But independence has value. I understand.

So, Detroit, with its singular issue with blight, came up with their own standard. And it shall be concrete, for look at all the inspirational beauty it has already brought to your fine city.

So... Concrete is easy. Mudpies, written large. To be sure, doing concrete to professional standards has a learning curve and is lots of work, however, this isn't a standard the city requires of you. You need concrete, so the weeds don't grow.

There are many ways to do this. Throw bags of cement (concrete, without sand or gravel) on the ground till it in, roll it flat, move your camper, done. (Though I would use a reinforcing mesh) This is technically soilcrete, but will serve your purpose, and is as easy or hard as you choose. Since it is mainly soil, it isn't concrete gray,and you can add dyes. Go crazy with it.

And you can go crazy with it. Look at tufa, make planters, do landscaping, for insulation, use foam and cover in tufta. Cement is cheap, $10/100lb bag at HD.

7Wannabe5
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Re: What is Minimum Head Tax and/or Price of Liberty?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:17 pm

@sky: Right, except I have also been informed that I will not likely be granted permit to construct such a slab on an otherwise vacant lot. If I wish to reside within walking distance of my garden project, my least expensive solution will be to rent a basement efficiency apartment. If I wish to reside in my camper, my BF says I can park it on the 11 wooded rural acres he might be buying, but I will probably have to help him plant ginseng.

@Riggerjack: To quote just a bit from the Concrete Flatwork Permit Application to which I am subject (if I am ever to be granted permit)

"...shall be minimum of 4 inches thick throughout and shall be placed on a four inch compacted sand or aggregate base...shall have a minimum compressive strength, at 28 days, of three thousand two hundred pounds per square inch...grading plan shall be provided for all new concrete placement...etc. etc. etc."

I even considered hiring an old Italian contractor that my BF knows, but...

I was attempting to create a model for permaculture that might allow city dwellers to survive post-peak-oil, but now I am figuring that they are just doomed.

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