N. Dakota revolts against property tax

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Something very interesting is happening in America.
Staid law-abiding middle-class citizens are rising up.
Today, residents of North Dakota will consider a measure that abolishes the property tax entirely.

Keith Colville, who supports the abolition of property taxes in North Dakota, listened to a debate on the issue last month at a school auditorium in Edgeley.  Photo by Jim Wilson/NYT

Monica Davey reports for the New York Times, June 11, 2012:
“I would like to be able to know that my home, no matter what happens to my income or my life, is not going to be taken away from me because I can’t pay a tax,” said Susan Beehler, one in a group of North Dakotans who have pressed for an amendment to the state’s Constitution to end the property tax. They argue that the tax is unpredictable, inconsistent, counter to the concept of property ownership and needless in a state that, thanks in part to wildly successful oil drilling, finds itself in the rare circumstance of carrying budget reserves.
“When,” Ms. Beehler asked, “did we come to believe that government should get rich and we should get poor?”
An unusual coalition of forces, including the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce and the state’s largest public employees’ unions, vehemently oppose the idea, arguing that such a ban would upend this quiet capital. Some big unanswered questions, the opponents say, include precisely how lawmakers would make up some $812 million in annual property tax revenue; what effect the change would have on hundreds of other state laws and regulations that allude to the more than century-old property tax; and what decisions would be left for North Dakota’s cities, counties and other governing boards if, say, they wanted to build a new school, hire more police, open a new park.
“This is a plan without a plan,” said Andy Peterson, president and chairman of the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, who acknowledged that property taxes have climbed in some parts of the state and that North Dakota’s political leaders need to tackle the issue. “But this solution is a little like giving a barber a razor-sharp butcher knife — and by the way, this barber is blind — and asking him or her to give you a haircut. You’ll get the job done, but you might be missing an ear or an eye.”
Polls conducted last month and last week suggest that voters here overwhelmingly oppose the ballot measure to ban the property tax.
Still, even if the measure here fails on Tuesday, the notion is picking up steam in some Republican circles in other states, including North Carolina, Texas and Pennsylvania.
Read the rest of the NYT article, here.

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0 responses to “N. Dakota revolts against property tax

  1. Property tax means the king owns everything and the people own nothing. Period.

  2. lowtechgrannie

    I’ve read the North Dakota economy is BOOMING and has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. They don’t need property taxes if employment and business taxes bring in enough revenue.

  3. I do not believe an individual should lose their home for not paying property taxes. A lien on their home could be placed, but I think foreclosure is unfair and extreme.

  4. edward oleander

    Does it make sense to permanently ban a tax when the current revenue stream is based on a fickle and ultimately temporary funding source? The oil boom WILL end, they always do.
    A decent compromise would be a partial (say 50%) rebate to be renewed no more often than every three years. The rest would be invested in a rainy day fund to prepare for the inevitable shortfalls that will occur. This is what we did in Minnesota some time back, and we were VERY grateful for that rainy day fund a few years later…

    • Yes it does. Ban the property and inheritance tax. there is no need for those in a free republic…

  5. You never really own your land as long as it can be taken away by the gimmement.
    Oh ya, the gimmimment types along with their union cronies got it shot down…


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