The Fundamental Powers of the State
The Fundamental Powers of the state are the police power, the power of eminent domain, and the power of taxation.
These powers are inherent and do not need to be expressly conferred by the constitutional provision on the state. They are suppose to co-exist with the state. the moment the state come into being, it is deemed invested with these three powers as its innate attributes.
Briefly, the police power
is the power of the state to regulate liberty and property for the promotion of the general welfare. The power of eminent domain
enables the state to forcibly aquire private property, upon payment of just compensation, for some intended public use. by the power of taxation,
the state is able to demand from the members of society their proportionate share or contibution in the maintainance of the government.
The three inherent of the state are similar in the following respects:
1. They are inherent in the state and maybe exercise by it wiouth need of express constitutional grant.
2. They are not only necessary but indespensable. the state cannot continue or effective unless it is able to exercise them.
3. They are methods by which the state interferes with private rights.
4. They all presuppose an equivalent compensation for tyhe private rights interfered with.
5. They are exercise merely by legislature.
The three inherent powers of the state differ from each other in the following ways:
1. The police power regulate both liberty and property. the power of eminent domain and the power of taxation affect only property rights.
2. The police power and power of taxation maybe exercise only by the government. The power of eminent domain maybe exercise by private entities.
3. The property taken in the police power is destroyed because it is noxious or intended for noxiousr purpose. The property taken under the power of eminent domain and the power of taxation is intended for a public use or purpose and is therefore wholesome.
4. The compensation of the person subjected to the police power is the intangible altruistic feeling that he has contibuted to the several welfare. the compensation involved in the other powers is more concrete, to wit, a full and fair equivalent to the property expropriated or protection and the public improvement for the taxes paid.
Although inherent and indespensable, the fundamental powers of the state are not without restrictions-as ours is a government of limited powers, even these prerogatives may not be exercise arbitrarily, to the prejudice of the bills of rights. The presumption in libertarian societies is in favor of private rights and against attempt on the part of the state to interfer with them, " Constitutional provision for the security of persons and property should be liberally construed."
Hence, the exercise of these fundamental powers is subject at all times to the limitation and requirements of the constitution and may in proper cases be annulled by the courts of justice