ND House Votes Down Two Year Income Tax Moratorium, Passes New Wind Subsidies


When I was in Bismarck last week visiting the legislature a Republican member of the House took me aside and told me that the Republican majority would be voting down a lot of tax relief proposals this week and wondered if I might curtail criticism until we see what kind of tax relief is left standing. Though I’m not inclined to pull punches, given the number of tax cut proposals the legislature is considering it makes sense to at a lot of them are going to get shot down.

Still, it was painful to watch the House vote down a real opportunity to change the state’s trajectory on tax policy going forward. A number of Republican governors in other states are pushing the elimination of the personal income tax as a sort of “red state model” for economic recovery. Here in North Dakota, Rep. Scott Louser introduced legislation which would have suspended the state income tax for the next biennium with an eye toward eliminating it permanently after that. The proposal is “big, bold, aggressive but responsible,” Louser said while arguing in favor of it on the floor of the House today.

Unfortunately, his arguments fell on deaf ears as the bill went down by a 23 – 63 vote with no debate. Here’s the video:

The House also voted down some other tax bills today:

HB1221, a proposal from Rep. Lois Delmore to give renters property tax in the form of an income tax credit.

HB1223, introduced by Rep. Eliot Glasshiem, which would have given every citizen of the state over 18 who has lived here for at least a year a $400 tax credit.

HB1271, introduced by Rep. Corey Mock, which would have exempted from sales taxes federally-qualified health centers (which Mock manages as his day job).

HB1096, introduced by Rep. Gary Sukut, would have increased the amount of state sales tax revenues sent to political subdivisions.

HB1311, introduced by Rep. Jerry Kelsh, which also would have increased the amount of state sales tax revenues sent to political subdivisions (with the explicit intent of lowering property taxes).

On the wind energy front, HB1353 (introduced by Rep. Don Vigesaa) allowing for individuals to take a state income tax credit for installing a wind power generator, was defeated but HB1382 (introduced by Rep. Mark Owens) extending an existing wind energy tax credit that would have expired in 2015 to 2017 was approved.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. 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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  • OldConserv2011

    Doesn’t seem like there could be much more tax relief to be introduced for consideration. They’ve voted down sales tax relief, property tax relief, a resident tax credit, renter tax credits (which I wasn’t in favor of anyway). Hard to imagine that there could be anthing left in the pipeline. Oh but let’s not overlook the fact that they extended a tax credit for wind energy. Never mind the fact that wind energy is nothing more than a bottomless pit into which millions of taxpayer dollars have been recklessly thrown. One of the Minot area legislators, a very conservative one, told me last week that “they’re going to spend every last nickle”, they of course being this legislature. At the rate things are going down there in Bismarck, I believe him.

  • Lianne

    Rob, I did enjoy listening to Glassheim defend the $400 rebate he had put forth in his bill 1223. He threw in the Tea party, and defined the bill as prudent, flexible and transparent.
    I would have been okay with Mock’s bill passing, with a fiscal note of only $230,000 to add to the care of the indigent.
    Majority Leader Carlson mentioned that the nine bills that failed totaled $1.5 Billion in tax incentives. That was before they passed the all important wind farm tax exemption to carry on our reputation of being a ‘business friendly state’.
    And Louser’s ‘if not us, who and if not now’, in regards to his ‘big, bold and agressive’ income tax suspension in HB1182? Exactly, but maybe there is something bigger and better coming!

    • RCND

      “but maybe there is something bigger and better coming”

      And monkeys may fly out of our… well you get the point. This legislature and our republicans don’t have the courage to do big, bold, and aggressive. They do lip service, BS, and smarmy. 1182 died for the reasons I thought it would: “because if we pass it, we would only have this much of a surplus instead of that much of a surplus”

      • Lianne

        I was trying to curtail criticism till we heard ALL the bills. ;-)

  • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

    But remember: Wind and solar are the “energies of the FUTURE!” Just ask the Dutch and the Aztecs.

  • matthew_bosch

    As an ND business owner the Bakken has been a blessing. But the other day I stopped to think about the average employed ND citizen and how the Bakken has effected them. After awhile I couldn’t really come up with a list of pros, but surely had a list of cons:
    -High housing prices
    -Higher road traffic/damage
    -Higher crime
    -Higher retail prices of goods/services
    -Inability to contract/buy goods and services
    Finally, no tax relief while Government coffers swell.

    Anyone have any pros?

    • borborygmi

      Um It is a really good example of free market capitialsim. Rob thus gets to do his happy dance, and he hasn’t put it on You Tube a definite pro for the rest of the internet.

      • matthew_bosch

        State needs to throw the residents some kind of bone.

    • whowon

      The people in the area with minerals rights have done very well. May good jobs for hard working people.

  • Game

    I am just curious, but using the Grover Norquist logic model, did all of these Republicans just vote for over a billion dollars in higher taxes?

    • Lianne

      Absolutely, I mean there are 23 democrats, 6-8 legislators were absent for all or part of the votes, and $1.5 Billion worth was brought to the floor and defeated. ;-)

  • Kevin Flanagan

    How much private sector money did they fill their pockets with?

  • awfulorv

    Your strong arming the oil producers, and hoarding the money, reminds me so much of a New York fellow named Castellano. Which drew the interest, and ire, of one John Gotti, and we all know what happened there. I warn you…these people are greatly attracted to vast sums of money. You would do better to share this money with your citizens…

  • borborygmi

    Kevin breathes a sigh of relief, his reason for living (bitching about his ND income tax) is alive and well.

  • camsaure

    The RINO?Republicans had better watch out. When this bursts and comes crashing down, the Dems will be right there blaming the Republicans for being reckless even though they were even more in favor of it all. The Liberal media will be there also to fan the flames and beat the drums. Then the uniformed of the public will see to it that another Republican will not be elected for many years to come in the future. Example: How long did it take the Republicans to recover from Watergate? (even though the Dems are guilty of all doing much, much worse.

  • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

    Boy these big spending RINO’s love to spend our money in ND…

  • mike from mandan

    Maybe Gov. Perry of Texas should come to North Dakota instead of California to recruit businesses to move to Texas, where there is NO income tax………….