I missed this last week while I was traveling, but I thought this report about Governor Jack Dalrymple testifying in favor of his property tax relief bill from T.J. Jerke of the Grand Forks Herald was interesting:
Dalrymple said the bill “achieves substantial property tax relief” although it should not be seen as a property tax relief bill.
Five years ago, the average taxable mill levy for school districts was 195 mills. The proposal would limit the general fund levy for any district to 60 mills.
“It’s a huge reduction in burden on local property taxpayers,” he said.
That’s a very interesting phrase from Governor Dalrymple. His education funding reform bill reduces burdens for local property taxpayers. But by replacing school district mills with state funding, he’s shifting that burden from local property taxpayers to statewide taxpayers.
Since most North Dakotans are both, how is this bill tax relief? Especially when the total funding for K-12 in Dalrymple’s proposal goes up by quite a bit?
What Dalrymple is proposing isn’t tax relief at all. Which is a scary thing given that the state has huge surpluses and Dalrymple’s property tax scheme makes up the bulk of the tax relief proposals before this legislative session.