Plain Talk: Lawmaker talks property tax proposal, attorney general office space scandal


MINOT, N.D. — We’re all in campaign mode right now, but just a couple of months after Election Day North Dakota will have a new legislative session. Lawmakers at that session will be hearing about two competing tax cut plans.

One would flatten the state’s income tax brackets, and eliminate the tax for most of the state’s filers. The other would leverage interest revenues from the state’s Legacy Fund to buy down the portion of your property taxes that goes for schools.

Rep. Craig Headland, and Tax Commissioner Brian Kroshus, appeared on a previous episode of Plain Talk to make the case for the income tax proposal. On this episode, Rep. Mike Nathe joined to make the case for the property tax plan.

Nathe, who serves on the Legislature’s audit committee, also responded to questions about the scandal over a lease for office space for departments within the Attorney General’s Office that went to a building owned by a state lawmaker. Nathe said he wants to hear the lawmaker’s side of the story — that’s Rep. Jason Dockter, a Republican from the Bismarck area — but his view of how that deal went down is far from positive.

Asked if he could describe what benefit accrued to the taxpayers from moving parts of the AG’s office to that office space, he said he couldn’t.

Also on this episode, Wednesday co-host Chad Oban and I discuss the congressional races. We talked about the four polls that have been released in the House race between incumbent Republican Kelly Armstrong and independent challenger Cara Mund, as well as the dynamics in the U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent John Hoeven, Democratic challenger Katrina Christiansen, and independent Rick Becker.

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