Jack Dalrymple’s Plan For Property Taxes: More Of The Same
Starting in the 2009 legislative session North Dakota’s political leadership implemented an idea hatched by then-governor John Hoeven, and perpetuated by current governor Jack Dalrymple, which had local property being bought down by hundreds of millions of dollars of state-level appropriations.
Both the Hoeven and Dalrymple plans were temporary, lasting just a biennium, and did little to impact the state’s property tax problems. It wasn’t tax relief – the last time I checked the state’s tax revenues came from we citizens too – and all it really did was flood the local level with state money with zero assurances that local political leaders would rein in spending.
Despite the over $800 million spent on local property taxes (and I say spent because actual tax relief doesn’t involve one level of government giving another level of government money) most North Dakotans are paying the same or more in property taxes today.
Today Governor Dalrymple, who is running for election to a term of his own against Democrat Ryan Taylor, announced his plan for property tax relief. I spoke with a state official who was at the event, and was told that the governor is proposing some $440 million in continued property tax buy-downs, and $100 million in personal/corporate income tax relief.
In other words, more of the same policy we’ve been getting since 2009, only this time Dalrymple is proposing that the state make these appropriations a permanent buy-down of property tax mills dedicated to schools.
That last isn’t exactly in keeping with the spirit of the “Keep It Local ND” cabal of crony capitalists and public worker unions who killed a measure to eliminate property taxes entirely earlier this year. The state taking over education funding is not “keeping it local.”
Maybe the goal was never really “keep it local.” Maybe that’s why the “Keep It Local ND” folks disappeared so quickly after their campaign was over.
Regardless, this policy won’t work, because it’s already been tried and it hasn’t worked. This scheme didn’t dampen the fires of property tax angst in 2009 or 2011, what would make anyone think this would fix our property tax woes in 2013 and beyond?
North Dakota is awash in property tax revenues, and the best our Republican leadership can do is a paltry income tax cut and a state take over of most of the local school funding obligations?
If the Democrat alternative weren’t even worse (here’s what I wrote about Taylor’s property tax plan) it wouldn’t be worth electing Dalrymple.Tags: jack dalrymple, North Dakota News, property taxes