Should North Dakota Eliminate Sales Taxes On Clothing?
It may be a sign of just how stodgy North Dakota Republicans have become on lowering tax burdens that some of the most interesting proposals for tax reductions are coming from Democrats. A trio of Fargo-area legislators running in District 46 (currently controlled by Republicans) want to eliminate the sales tax for clothing.
The article mentions that this will save North Dakotans an estimated $30 million per biennium, but that seems low to me. Regardless, Republicans have been slow to embrace tax relief in the state, leaving Democrats free to move in on their right flank.
The Republican response to this proposal? The typical sort of triangulation we always get from Republicans to justify opposition to tax relief. They say we can’t have this tax relief, because then we might not get other tax relief.
Rep. Jim Kasper – one of the three GOP incumbents in District 46, along with Sen. Jim Roers and Rep. Kathy Hawken – said he would not oppose any proposals to reduce taxes and agreed the proposal would help business owners.
But Kasper said he is focusing on property tax and income tax relief.
“The people are frustrated with property tax,” he said. “I haven’t had anybody talk to me about wanting a sales tax reduction, and we’d be one of the few states that don’t tax clothing.”
Kasper said property tax reduction would be a much larger relief for taxpayers, and even renters would see savings because landlords would pass down the reductions to them.
Hill disagreed, saying clothing tax affects everybody regardless of whether they rent or own property.
The property tax relief Republicans have passed in the past really isn’t tax relief at all. It’s more state spending at the local level that has done little to ease tax burdens, as evidenced by the fact that most North Dakotans are paying higher property tax bills than they were a few years ago.
Republicans have had their opportunities to do something bold on taxes, but instead they’ve settled for extremely modest tax reductions and extreme spending increases even as the state’s coffers bloat with huge surpluses.
Maybe Democrats getting to the right of Republicans on tax and spending issues will pull them back into line.Tags: North Dakota News, property taxes, Sales Tax, Taxes