Today there was floor debate over Governor Jack Darlymple’s Housing Incentive Fund. The fund asks for private sector donations to subsidize low-income housing, for which contributors get a dollar-for-dollar tax credit up to a $15 million total cap. Which basically means the taxpayers are ultimately footing the bill.
The fund barely hit its $15 million mark last year, yet Dalrymple wants the fund expanded to $50 million this year, with an expansion of the contribution program up to $20 million and another direct $30 million contribution for subsidies.
The House passed amendments to strip out the $30 million appropriation, but left in place the 33% increase in funding for the tax credits, but not without some push back from Democrats:
Ultimately the amendments passed on a 60 – 30 vote (4 not voting).
The idea that the state needs to provide any sort of incentive to build housing in North Dakota is a bit ridiculous. There is plenty of incentive to build housing in this booming state of ours, and all new housing increases the total supply of housing available, working to ease prices.
To hear Democrats, particularly Rep. Corey Mock in the video above, tell it we won’t increase the supply of housing without government subsidies. This is silly.
It’s a sop to property developers, and even a 33% increase in the fund is objectionable given that taxpayers are really the ones footing the bill, but we can at least be happy that Dalrymple and Democrats didn’t get more through the House.
The question will be how much of the funding the Senate puts back in.