About the only bright spot for tax relief this legislative session was a half-billion dollar package of corporate and personal income taxes passed by the House. Unfortunately, and as expected, the state Senate has watered those tax cuts down to the paltry $125 million in cuts proposed in Governor Jack Dalrymple’s executive budget.
And Senate Democrats argued against even that pittance in tax relief:
House Bill 1250 gives $100 million in income tax cuts and $25 million in corporate tax cuts.
Most of the debate centered around the question, would North Dakotan’s rather have that $125 million go towards additional property tax relief.
Democratic Senator Mac Schneider of Grand Forks says, “The cuts to income and corporate taxes, I’m not going to say that there aren’t North Dakotan’s out there who want to see that happen but I think it’s secondary to the support for cutting property taxes.”
“I think $200 million or $190 million is the right amount to leave in the taxpayers pocket,” says Republican Senator Dwight Cook.
There’s no question why Democrats want “property tax relief” instead of this income tax relief. That’s because the only “property tax relief” the legislature is passing is really just an increase in state spending on education. That no doubt makes the teacher union lobbyists, and the local government lobbyists, very happy but it’s not doing much for the taxpayers.
The $714 million in “property tax relief” is really just a massive increase in local spending by the state. It’s not tax relief.
These income tax reductions are real tax relief for businesses and individuals across the state. But North Dakota workers and business owners will likely only be getting a fraction of the income tax relief they should be getting.