Shocker: Measure 2 Opponents Flip-Flopping On “Keep It Local”
Back before the June election, when the measure to abolish property taxes (Measure 2) was still being hotly debated around the state, I broke the news that the anti-Measure 2 folks were planning on proposing a state take over of local school funding. This was interesting because their mantra at the time – indeed the name of the well-funded coalition of special interests formed to oppose the measure – was “Keep It Local.”
The state taking over school funding isn’t exactly keeping it local.
Shortly after the measure campaign was over, with Measure 2 having been defeated, the “Keep It Local ND” campaign quickly disappeared. Their website was deleted. Their social media accounts were closed. It was almost as if they didn’t exist.
And now, right on schedule, some of the loudest voices in the “Keep It Local” crowd are now backing the state take over of local school funding:
Leading up to the primaries this summer, Measure 2, the provision to abolish property taxes in North Dakota, garnered a lot of vocalization, both for and against. The voters of North Dakota voted down the measure, but will still be looking for property tax relief in the next biennium, officials said.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple has proposed a plan to expand an existing program that buys down school district property taxes, allowing them to levy fewer mills, which in turn would lower residents’ property tax bill, Tax Commissioner Cory Fong said.
“I’m sure that there will be some additional ideas along those lines,” he said. “There’s some ideas out there to completely take all of the school funding at the state level and basically have the state pay for school funding at the local level, and that gets translated as property tax relief.”
Remember, we couldn’t pass Measure 2 abolishing property taxes and replacing them with an appropriation from the state because that would have made local officials have to line up in Bismarck to get the funding they need. But now we have the very people who made that argument telling us that the state should take over local school funding, forcing local leaders to go to Bismarck to get their education appropriations, in order to lower property taxes.
Shifting the burden for education funding from the local level to the state level isn’t tax relief. We all pay state wide taxes too. It’s the equivalent of taking money out of our front pockets instead of our back pockets. We still pay.
But what’s worse, this exposes the “Keep It Local” people for the hypocrites they are. They didn’t believe their “local control” argument even when they were making it.
Welcome to North Dakota, a state controlled by Republicans who hate the idea of real tax relief.Tags: cory fong, keep it local nd, measure 2, North Dakota News, property taxes