Port: You wouldn’t think tax relief would be this complicated


MINOT, N.D. — According to an analysis prepared for state lawmakers by the Legislative Council, our state government has, since 2007, spent more than $7 billion on trying to lower property taxes levied by local governments.

North Dakotans remain incensed about their property taxes, and why wouldn’t they? Even after all those billions in spending, our property taxes are still going up.

“Right now, North Dakota is providing, every biennium, $1.6 billion to the political subdivisions to help hold down taxes,” Senate Majority Leader David Hogue told voters in Minot recently . “The taxes are going up, but they’re going up at a much lower rate, and that is because of the money that we’re putting out to the political subdivisions.”

Political subdivisions get more money even as they continue to raise property taxes. And they call this “property tax relief,” which is the sort of cock and bull you can only get away with in politics.

The state Senate wants to do more of the same, voting to throw another $203 million down the “property tax relief” hole, according to the fiscal note attached to Senate Bill 2066, which has passed the Senate on a 42-4 vote.

Continue reading…