Sunday, February 5, 2023
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, October 30, 2016
Does Hawaii Need a "Property Ownership Fairness Act"
By Grassroot Institute @ 2:41 AM :: 5167 Views :: Small Business, Tourism

Why has defining property rights become so difficult?

Property. It's a concept so instinctive that toddlers can grasp it (to a fault). And yet, when it comes to defining the extent of one's property rights, the issue quickly becomes fuzzy and fraught with political implications.

But is that really necessary? In this week's episode of "E Hana Kakou", I sat down with Christina and Timothy Sandefur, authors of Cornerstone of Liberty: Private Property Rights in 21st Century America. The Sandefurs pointed out that our concept of private property is often defined by our ability to use that property in the way we wish. While most of us can accept reasonable restraints on that right (in the form of regulation), things become more problematic when we try to define what is "reasonable" under the law.

In Hawaii, this can be seen most starkly with the advent of the "shared" economy. Residents of Hawaii have been putting up friends, family, and friends of friends in their homes for years. Maybe we even accepted a thank you gift in exchange. However, the moment that money enters the equation, our home becomes a short-term rental and the government enters the picture with regulations and taxes.

It's a similar case when it comes to ride sharing. Who hasn't accepted a few dollars in gas money in exchange for giving someone a ride to the airport? The difference between that and ride sharing businesses is a matter of degree, but it once again plunges us into serious questions about property and regulation. The state government is struggling to figure out how it wants to regulate ride sharing in relation to the already heavily-regulated taxi industry. (Sadly, no one seems to be asking if we should consider loosening the taxi regulations rather than just creating new ones for Uber and Lyft.)

There's no argument that government regulations on how you use your home or your car are an intrusion on your property rights. The real question is whether that intrusion is warranted.

In our conversation, the Sandefurs shared the very interesting way that Arizona has approached this problem of balance. The state passed a law that requires the government to pay property owners when it takes away some property right. Called the "Property Ownership Fairness Act," it ensures that the state balances regulation with compensation. Moreover, a separate, more recent law deals directly with the issue of home sharing by limiting the state's right to regulate "aesthetics." In other words, the state is permitted to regulate (and limit property rights) for the sake of health and safety, but can't outlaw an industry or prevent people from sharing their homes.

The point, says Christina Sandefur, is to clarify where the legal presumption lies. People should be presumed to be free to use their property as they wish and government should be forced to consider the costs of regulation before acting.

It may seem like Hawaii has a long way to go before we get to that point, but we can start by demanding that government think about the long-term costs of regulations. In a state where property is so valuable, we should be fighting hard against giving up any of our property rights.

E hana kakou (Let's work together!),

Keli'i Akina, Ph.D.


IC: How Secure Are Private Property Rights In Hawaii? Find Out Here.


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii