Maybe North Dakota Wouldn’t Need Subsidized Child Care If Tax Burdens Were Lower


That’s the point Chris Berg makes during his online show for Valley News Live today:

Berg refers to a survey done by Obama-appointed USDA Rural Development Director Jasper Schneider (who is busy milking his federal patronage job for political gain later in his career) showing that North Dakotans want the state’s surplus spent a) on infrastructure and b) on subsidizing child care services.

Note that Governor Jack Dalrymple recently announced government efforts to promote child care services in western North Dakota.

Setting aside for a moment that this survey is hardly scientific (respondents could only select from pre-determined, multiple-choice answers), Berg makes a great point about the demand for child care services. Noting that 85% of families with pre-school aged children have both parents working, Berg wonders if maybe that wouldn’t be the case if tax burdens were lower.

It clashes mightily with narratives popularly promoted by the state’s political leadership and mainstream media, but the simple truth is that North Dakota isn’t really a low tax burden state. That’s the conclusion of the Tax Foundation, which calculates tax burdens on a per-capita basis, but if you controlled for the fact that wages tend to be lower in North Dakota as well you would see that the problem is even worse.

Here’s the bottom line: The state of North Dakota has billions in surpluses and reserves. Meanwhile, North Dakota families have to send both parents off to work and are clamoring for child care services.

There’s something wrong with that picture. The state needs lower taxes and less government.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • ellinas1

    “It clashes mightily with narratives popularly promoted by the state’s politicalleadership and mainstream media, but the simple truth is that North Dakota isn’t really a low tax burden state. That’s the conclusion of the Tax Foundation, …”
    Rob Port on 06/20/2012 

    Now the truth.North Dakota has five income tax brackets the highest being 3.99% which kicks in at an income level of, wait for it…. $88350 dollars.
    Out of fifty states North Dakota’s top rate ranks 41st.
    Imagine that. Only nine states have a lower level of taxation.
    Average state level individual 
    income tax collections were $454 per person.
    Now get this: North Dakota ranks 40th nationally. Only 10 states have lower state income tax collection.
    What’s more, from the Link Rob Port provided….are you ready for this?
    “North Dakota’s State and Local Tax Burden Below National Average.”
    Imagine my surprise to discover that the Tax Foundation disagrees with Mr Port’s conclusions, yet Mr. Port twists and or hides  the facts.
    Is he lying? Is he being dishonest?  Or is he simply mistaken.
    You be the judge.

    • caeslinger

      He said tax burden, not income tax burden. Sales tax and Property Tax collections dwarf income tax collections.

      • ellinas1

        “Sales tax and Property Tax collections dwarf income tax collections.”
        Again, from the link provided by Rob Port.

        North Dakota levies a 5% general sales or use tax on consumers, which is below the national median of 6.00% [but localities are permitted to levy their own sales taxes].

        Caeslinger, when are you going to stop drinking the cool aide served by Rob Port?

        • Awfulorv

          I’m surprised that you, proud of, and devoted to, as you say you are of your homeland are not, at the moment, engaged in wrapping food parcels for the starving citizens of that country. Thousands of people are pictured waiting in lines to receive food packets, supplied to them by the good people of Crete, no less.  And remember to include, While filling your food parcels, the prodigious amounts of candy to be found in your van. After all, little Greek boys are known to enjoy sweets as much as your Central California pickups do.

      • ellinas1

        “Sales tax and Property Tax collections dwarf income tax collections.”
        Again, from the link provided by Rob Port:

        “North Dakota Property Taxes: Middle of the Pack North Dakota is one of the 37 states that collect property taxes at both the state and local levels. As in most states, local governments collect far more. North Dakota’s localities collected $1,162 in property taxes in fiscal year 2009, which is the latest year the Census Bureau published state-by-state property tax collections. At the state level, North Dakota collected $3 per capita in property taxes during FY 2009, making its combined state/local property taxes $1,165 per capita, which ranks 29th nationally.”

        North Dakota ranks 29 out of 37 states that levy state and or local property taxes. Once again, North Dakota is 29th out of 37 nationally.

        Caeslinger, when are you going to believe the facts and not someone that has an agenda that is contrary to the common good of the people of North Dakota.

        Rob Port is looking after the interest of the moneyed elites.
        Rob Port is looking after the interests of the large landowners.
        You? Pheh! You are a casualty of his agenda, unless you have lots of money and land holdings as far as the eye can see.

    • caeslinger

      We also have the same amount flowing into our state coffers from Oil & Tax revenue as the big 3 taxes combined. And we manage to spend it or sock it away … Whereas other states that have had benefit like this manage to reduce the tax burden on their citizens, we have not taken those steps.

      • Rob

        That’s what really scares me. We’ve collected the windfall for oil development, but we’ve done almost nothing to promote long-term economic strength by reducing tax burdens. I’m afraid that, at the end of these times of booming revenues, the most we will have accomplished is an explosion in state spending and not much else.

  • Chris Berg

    The point of the video is to say – WHY give the state more money to take care of our kids!  If you truly believe that someone else can take of your kids better than you, then you should not have had kids in the first place.  Now, if you are making the choice to go work rather than be with your kids, then that is your choice.  Just keep in mind that 90% of a child’s brain is developed from 0-5.  In my opinion, this is obviously a critical development stage for a child.  

    • Ggf

      Why not hire a nanny ?
      Why not send kids to Swiss boarding schools
       rather than public schools ?

      Cause most people can’t afford those options.

      Daycare is in the states and the populaces interest.

  • $7725169

    Maybe North Dakota needs to get off the federal teet first.

  • Awfulorv

    As I Read of Larry Ellison’s purchase of the island of Lanai for $600 million, a wealthy art client paying $139 million for painting A, and $119 million for painting B, as well as $375 thousand for the first Apple computer,and so forth, I looked for my Fair Tax Book and was unable to find it. No one, it seems, returns books anymore. As I recall, though, it stated that an additional 23% Flat tax was to be added onto all purchases, in  lieu of IRS taxes.  Therefore, the island, if it were included in this form of taxation, would have cost Larry $738 mill., painting A  approx. $171 mill., and painting B approx. $146.mill.  My questions for you, dear readers, are, do you think these additional taxes would have caused these high dollar deals to NOT take place?  And, do you think these buyers would have been put in a precarious financial position were they to pay this additional flat tax?  And would you, and yours, be willing to pay an additional $1150 on your purchase of that $5000 used car if that transaction, and others, were to rid you of ever again paying Federal Income Taxes?  If your answer is in the affirmative on these questions we may, finally, be on our way to a sensible form of taxation. A system which does not require voluminous paperwork, that everyone would, fairly, share in paying, one which would not have to expend one dollar, to collect three more, and one which would eliminate the “sweetheart” tax shelters which are constantly being written to, specifically, benefit this, or that, entity.