Port: I’m not convinced our Legislature knows what the term “property tax relief” means


MINOT — “Property tax relief.”

North Dakota’s politicians keep using that term. As the great Inigo Montoya might say , “I don’t think it means what they think it means.”

To catch you up, according to the Legislative Council , over the last 15 years, North Dakota’s lawmakers have appropriated more than $7.25 billion to what they describe as “property tax relief.” This approach to property tax relief has now obliged the state to pay local governing entities about $1.6 billion per biennium “to help hold down taxes,” as Senate Majority Leader David Hogue has put it .

Yet North Dakotans are still crying out for property tax relief. Because their property taxes aren’t actually going down.

What have we accomplished if we spend $7.25 billion on “property tax relief” and property taxpayers don’t feel that relief?

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