THE WEST WING Weekly Memo 3-8-2013
Each Weekly Memo to the City Council and the agenda packet is also provided on theCity Councilweb page.
Red River State Recreational Area
Senator Stumpf and Repre... Posted on 3/8/13 at 2:55 PM
STAFF BLOG THE N.D. CAPITOL AND BEYOND Financial impact of Measure 2 debated
BISMARCK About $812 million in property taxes for 2012 would be eliminated if North Dakota voters approve Measure 2 in June, a state research analyst said Monday.
Kathy Strombeck of the state Tax Co... Posted on 4/2/12 at 2:28 PM
STAFF BLOG CAPITOL CHATTER Legislative notebook: GOP tax cut bill draws heated debate
A Republican bill cutting statewide business property taxes received mixed, and at times heated, reaction Tuesday in its first committee hearing.
A House Taxes Committee vote is expected later this w... Posted on 3/13/12 at 9:16 PM
The tax North Dakota homeowners love to loathe is about to get another whack. North Dakota voters spurned a chance last week to abolish the property tax in the primary, but the state Capitol is brimming with ideas to provide more tax relief and better fairness.
A constitutional measure that would have made North Dakota the first state in the nation to abolish property taxes went down in flames Tuesday, with about 77 percent of the more than 172,000 primary voters soundly saying “No” to Measure 2. But Sen. Dwight Cook, R-Mandan, said the Legislature has worked to reform property taxes for years, an effort that will continue — and lawmakers already have several plans that could lower tax bills — despite what happened in voting booths across the state.
North Dakota’s property tax revolt fizzled at the polls in primary election returns Tuesday night. Measure 2, which sought to eliminate property taxes, was defeated with 76.55 percent rejecting the proposal and 23.45 percent favoring, as of Wednesday morning. Those results are with all 426 of the state's precincts reporting.
Measure 2, which would eliminate the North Dakota property tax if approved, could be called the $1.6 billion question. That’s the amount of money in a two-year budget that state legislators would have to replace to help fund public schools, cities, counties, townships – in all, 2,100 units of local governments.
I think it is very telling that, to the best of my knowledge, there is only one member of the Legislature out of 141 who publicly supports Measure 2. Legislators certainly don’t know everything, but their lack of support speaks volumes about this far-reaching proposal.
So many people are clamoring to refinance or somehow reduce their monthly mortgage payment. But even after all that effort, they find their monthly mortgage payment reduced by only $150 to $200.
In contrast, by simply going to the voting booth, homeowners have the chance increase their annual expendable income by $3,600 to $6000.
One could argue that the complexity of this system is a reason to remove it and replace it with a leaner system. I’d argue that simply removing it would create a new and greater level of complexity. For evidence of this, see the federal tax code.
The state has the money to do this. We have almost $2 billion in the school lands fund, and the state is taking in $4.8 million a day. We can get rid of property tax and use the money that’s already coming into our state through the increased collections of sales tax, income tax and all the other taxes the state has overcollected.
Measure 2 will be the people’s refund of the overpayment.
North Dakota voters appear ready to reject Measure 2, a proposal to eliminate property taxes, by a margin of almost 3 to 1.
A Forum Communications poll of 500 likely voters found 74 percent planned to vote against Measure 2 in the June 12 primary, with 26 percent saying they will vote yes.
I’d ask the voters to consider the future makeup of the Legislature. Adding additional requirements would make it all but impossible for actively engaged business people to serve. In my view, the only people who could be legislators would be retired people and those who fully depend upon government for their livelihood.
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