Gov. John Hoeven letter: Citizens have a choice on tax reform
BISMARCK -- On Nov. 4, North Dakota voters will have a choice on tax relief. If they vote for Measure 2, they'll be choosing income tax relief instead of property tax relief. That's because Measure 2 will reduce revenue by more than $400 million....
BISMARCK -- On Nov. 4, North Dakota voters will have a choice on tax relief. If they vote for Measure 2, they'll be choosing income tax relief instead of property tax relief. That's because Measure 2 will reduce revenue by more than $400 million. As a result, there will not be room to reduce and sustain lower property taxes as well, especially if Measure 1, the Constitutional Oil Tax Trust Fund, also passes.
As I've traveled the state and listened to the people of North Dakota, they've told me that they want tax relief, but their priority is property tax relief. That is why I've put forward a plan to provide both property tax relief as well as income tax relief.
My $500 million plan will provide $300 million in property tax relief and $100 million in income tax relief. In addition, it provides at least $100 million more for better school funding, which will help keep property taxes lower in the future.
Initiated measures are up to the people to decide, and I respect the right of initiated measure. I believe it is important for citizens to understand, however, that they can either have the income tax relief provided by Measure 2 or the balanced property tax relief and income tax relief we have put forward in our plan. But, they can't have both.
If taxpayers want balanced property tax relief and income tax relief, they should vote "no" on Measure 2.
Regarding Measure 1, I believe it's important to maintain an adequate reserve for the future. But, the people of North Dakota should understand that we are already doing just that -- without a constitutional measure. When I came into office, North Dakota did not have a reserve. In the current biennium, however, we have set aside more than $400 million in two rainy day funds, and we will continue to build on those to ensure that our state has strong reserves.
Rather than passing Measure 1, we should invest in our future, provide real tax relief and build our reserves in line with the growth in our economy. That is both fiscally prudent and will let us build our standard of living and quality of life.
Hoeven is governor of North Dakota.