Skip to comments.North Dakota Considers Eliminating Property Tax
Posted on 06/12/2012 12:08:38 AM PDT by quesney
BISMARCK, N.D. Since Californians shrank their property taxes more than three decades ago by passing Proposition 13, people around the nation have echoed their dismay over such levies, putting forth plans to even them, simplify them, cap them, slash them. In an election here on Tuesday, residents of North Dakota will consider a measure that reaches far beyond any of that one that abolishes the property tax entirely.
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Jim Wilson/The New York Times A group of Edgeley residents, including Nicole Gibson, who held a Vote No on Measure 2 sign, gathered after the debate. I would like to be able to know that my home, no matter what happens to my income or my life, is not going to be taken away from me because I cant pay a tax, said Susan Beehler, one in a group of North Dakotans who have pressed for an amendment to the states Constitution to end the property tax. They argue that the tax is unpredictable, inconsistent, counter to the concept of property ownership and needless in a state that, thanks in part to wildly successful oil drilling, finds itself in the rare circumstance of carrying budget reserves.
When, Ms. Beehler asked, did we come to believe that government should get rich and we should get poor?
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Starve the beast for now, but what will their fiscal health be if oil revenues falter?
There is power in the simplicity of this question:
I would like to be able to know that my home, no matter what happens to my income or my life, is not going to be taken away from me because I cant pay a tax.
I can guess that mill rates and property values are both going up in the boom. I can also guess that mill rates will not go down while property values do go down after the boom.
I see the many RINOs that have infected ND are opposing the abolition.
I have a good friend who owns his home outright. It's a small mother/daughter split-level type in a CRAPPY neighborhood - Hempstead, NY.
Though it's paid off, he still gets to pay nearly $1,500 per month in property tax because the lefty govenmental theives in the Nassau County Hempstead irresponsibly piss his money away.
The home has been in his family for around 40 years.
Also, my daughter will never, EVER set even one single toe in a public school. Hence, why should I have pay for her education, then pay again for some stranger's kids to go to a school where they're likely not to learn very much - except how to hate everything I stand for?
Well, let's say ND goes the way of Wisconsin and rids itself of compulsory government union membership, which BTW:
“The state has a low rate of private-sector union
membership at 4.3 percent, and a public-sector unionization
rate of 17.4 percent.”
I think they would do very well in the long term. There aren't many who move to North Dakota that don't have something to offer, except maybe the 3 biggest cities.
If not burdened with a high maintenance citizenry, investment and development should continue, just not at a helter skelter pace, which would be good.
My experience is that once government gets a surplus someone always will find a way to spend it. The reason so few Americans are wealthy isn’t because it is hard to earn enough to be wealth, but because it is so very, very easy to spend too much.
If the state continues in this direction, decreasing government, thereby decreasing income tax needed, and dedicating surplus to infrastructure conducive to business investment, and eventually getting rid of income taxes, they could have a long stable future.
As a resident of a state with probably the highest property taxes in the nation (NJ), I’ll tell you some reasons not to eliminate property taxes. Here in NJ, they pay for your municipal employees; in other states all of the money is put in a common pot at the state or county level. In those models, your taxes are re-distributed beyond your municipality, and your vote is much more diluted. The reason Newark, Camden, and Paterson NJ all laid off so many employees is BECAUSE we have property taxes; their residents hadn’t been paying for their services for decades, with “state aid” (our money) picking up the tab. When that aid dried up, they couldn’t loot from those areas where people get out of bed each morning and go to work (hence the layoffs).
In the end, what many people pay from property taxes will simply be paid from another source anyway (state income tax, for example); property owners lose a lot of control when that happens. Nothing is free.
I understand the frustration with the school part of the tax bill; I find that frustrating as well (it is the main reason many Catholic schools in NJ are either closed or winding down). Those taxes are higher than mine, but I know some people in nearby areas in NJ prefer higher taxes and the segregation it brings (along class lines, as opposed to race) than to simply having the taxes re-distributed at the state level and moving low-income housing into their neighborhood.
Very interesting post. I live in a town in CT. We are having a vote on the town budget today. Ironically we had reassessed our home property values for the first time in 5 years. Required by state law every 5 years. Not surprisingly most people’s lost about 1/8 of their property value. I lost 1/6 of my value. However since moving here 4 years ago, the property taxes has increased about 15 percent in a recession. Of course, each budget vote, there will be signs all over town saying “Vote (Yes) for edcuation”. Why should we vote yes each time, should we give the town a blank check? Now that the reassessment comes back, they of course want to increase the mill rate to ensure that the budget is not endangered. Its pretty frustrating. I guess this is typical townlike shanigans. The surrounding towns did similiar things.
Had that happen in Ohio when the property values hit the skids in the past few years. When I got a reevaluation and the value was lowered they raised the multiplier to make up of the county’s lost revenues.
While you have it you save it and operate in a prudent manner, plan for the future.
OK, my experience with politicians and money is the exact opposite... like giving whiskey and car keys to teen boys. YMMV
That works for individuals, but with OPM it doesn’t quite work so well.
That makes absolutely no sense. A pox on property taxes.
I will go against the grain here and say this is a bad idea. It gives the state dull control over local government revenues. Government is best closest to the people. Theyd be better iff eliminating the sales tax or some other revenue to the state coffers.
Property tax = the perpetual mortgage. There is no private property ownership.
Remember: "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress". And distress to Widows is not a good idea before God.
$1,500 per month? In Hempstead? Are you sure? My escrow, which includes property tax and insurance isn’t much more than that for the entire year.
OK, let me frame it differently: here in NJ, we pay for our local services (including cops, teachers, firemen, public works, etc.) from our local property taxes. In other states, these are paid from a more centralized pool of money (which is raised from state income taxes or some other means); in the end, the residents of the state are still paying their cops, teachers, etc. - it is just a question of “how”. In NJ nobody wants their taxes to be used to pay for the services on the “permanently dependent reservations” (Newark, Camden, etc.); they want to pay for their own little corner of the world instead (where their vote is one of fifteen thousand, instead of one in three million).
People who live in areas where local services are not paid by local taxes end up subsidizing their urban toilets to a larger extent, since the wealth is re-distributed from a higher level. You are going to get the bill anyway; when you move away from local taxes you get someone else’s bill as well.
Don’t you have tax abatement programs for situations like the widow?
In VA, our local governments set and collect the tax and the state has absolutely nothing to do with it. I didnt realize it was done any other way. I agree with you. Eliminating the tax gives the state full control over local government revenues.
TONS of women like that in New England; where people pay confiscatory levels of property tax 'for the children'...my wife's grandmother lost her home for that very reason.
“Government is best closest to the people.”
You are absolutely right; they prevent taxpayers from paying someone else’s bills.
For people nostalgic about the Founding Fathers, I don’t know if many FReepers are aware that voting was originally limited to people paying property taxes. There was a reason for that: they had a stake in the future of an area that wasn’t shared by all of the residents. Once that requirement was removed, you had people casting votes to see what they could get from other people’s money (the modern Democratic Party).
Exactly. Quit paying your property taxes and you will see who REALLY owns 'your' property in short order...
Could we get some clarification here? Are they talking about school taxes here, or just general property axes. In most areas, school taxes are the preponderance of what is generally termed “Real Estate” or property taxes..( when I left the NY suburbs in 2007, school taxes were 72% of my total property tax bill. School districts are separate entities, often with DIFFERENT geographical boundaries than the underlying municipalities..they propose their own budgets and assessment rates.
“Eliminating the tax gives the state full control over local government revenues.”
Just as importantly, it gives the state control of the expenditures. Affirmative action would be taken to a whole new level as rural and suburban revenues are dumped into urban toilets to buy votes. This was happening here in NJ with “state aid” until the state ran out of money; since we have local property taxes, our money couldn’t be used to save the jobs of the urban teachers and cops (who were never funded by the populations they served anyway).
“Why should we vote yes each time, should we give the town a blank check?”
Governor Christie fixed that in NJ with a property tax cap; when teachers get 4% raises, and taxes can only increase 2%, untenured teachers and cops lose their jobs. This isn’t just theory, it already happened (and is why Obama is talking about re-hiring teachers and cops).
tax abatement programs in Nassau County => $1500 is reduced to $1495.95. My home is just north of Hempstead and my tax bill is substantially more than $1500 a month.
Who is supposed to pay to maintain the road in front of the widows’ homes? Who is to pay for the ambulance when she falls and can’t get up? The fact of the matter is that people have to pay for these things.
Here in NJ your property taxes are frozen when you reach 65; it is an attempt to acknowledge that people have their incomes adjusted when they retire. It isn’t a working solution because freezing someone’s taxes at $7,500 isn’t much help.
This will define the political lines: a TRUE democrat never saw a tax that they wouldn’t like to raise and a TRUE republican never saw a tax that they liked.
Yesterday, Rush was reading an article that said North Dakota has a surplus of $4 billion and climbing, I think the roads could be covered in that.
Yesterday, Rush was reading an article that said North Dakota has a surplus of $4 billion and climbing, I think the roads could be covered in that.
My thought also. They will change this if oil keeps dropping.
I’m sorry, I’m still not buying what you’re selling.
What about unoccupied or undeveloped properties? Why should any tax be paid at all for those? Why should every property owner pay for public schools?
The property tax is a load of crap, and should be abolished. Replace all that crap with service fees, charged only to the users. Problem solved!
Clarification here? If you want clarification of ND property tax, maybe this would answer your question. I own a shade under 50 acres with a home, out buildings and other improvements. My total tax was $550 for 2011. It was spent as follows: County - 42%, Township - 17%, School - 37%, Fire - 2%, Water - 1%, State - 1%.
Next year it is to go up about 50%.
I called the county to find out why such a large increase. They said it was because our property was undervalued.
However, the media is constantly saying the oil boom is coming to our neck of the woods, and our infrastructure is lacking, they want it up to speed before it gets here. I see this as a valid reason for wanting more money. The county needs it for the roads, the schools need to expand.
The oil trucks flat outright ruin roads, and the influx of new folks over crowd the schools.
Because of this, I favor having the excess oil revenue make up the difference. They now have producers less than 10 miles from our home, and one staked off less than 3 miles, and a proposed well less than a mile. The quality of oil coming out of the ground is very close to diesel fuel, so the refinery being built in the state to make mostly diesel.
So I see the need to upgrade our community, but the oil should pay for it.
That's SO UNFAIR. The state is obviously in the 1% category. There should be a federal tax imposed on states that are in the black.
Then, to be FAIR, the federal tax levied against North Dakota for being rich should be re-distributed to bankrupt states like Illinois which are broke because of George Bush and being unlucky in life's lottery.
No more rich states, please. If any should become rich, the feds should seize its surplus money and spread it around to the failed states in the 99%. It's only FAIR to do so.
Time to move...
I had a friend once that was having a mortgage burning party when he finally paid off his debt.
I asked him why he was so happy. His response was “now I finally own my house.”
I told him that the house belonged to his local government, not him. I told him that there were two owners of the house. One was the government and the other was the mortgage company. Now, the mortgage company was out of the picture.
He was puzzled and I went on to explain that the REAL owner of his property was the government and further went on to find out who the real owner was, simply don’t pay your property tax and you will soon see who really owns the property.
Property owners will never own their property. We lease it from the government and pay it a fee each year for the privilege of living there.
The worst thing about this is that responsible people buy a home as part of their planning for when they get older and their income decreases but they could plan on having a paid off house to live in for the rest of their days.
Well, THAT AIN’T HAPPENING! The house they bought 30-40 years ago for $25,000 is now appraised at $175,000 to 350,000 (depending on where you live) and the taxes alone are more than the original mortgage payment.
And now, the worst part of property taxes.......normally 75% is school taxes!
Then, since you seem to enjoy and approve of property taxes, proceed with enjoying them.
One of the beaties of this nation that is composed of 50 separate nations, is that we can try different things, within a framework of basic freedomes.
I for one, applaud ND for attempting to eliminate property taxes. They are indeed a pox. A property tax steals ownership. When one owns something, it cannot be taken. Yet, a property tax does just that.
Enjoy non-ownership of your home.
Bingo. Property tax is pure slavery.
“The home has been in his family for around 40 years. Also, my daughter will never, EVER set even one single toe in a public school. Hence, why should I have pay for her education, then pay again for some stranger’s kids to go to a school where they’re likely not to learn very much - except how to hate everything I stand for? “
Another good question. Something has gone terribly wrong in the Untied States.
I’d add Walker in Wisconsin, but the problem isn’t the politicians, but the people. Indiana and Ohio and Wisconsin and so on didn’t get in trouble over a single election cycle. It takes a philosophical underpinning to preserve liberty.
Kids don’t and haven’t learned about individual rights, other than sexual deviancy, in a half century plus of government schooling. We let them be educated and entertained by liberals and fools. How do you reverse that?
Yes, you need some government and government needs some revenue. We will be taxed at some level. I don’t like property taxes and I think sales taxes are better, but they’re naturally regressive and follow the business cycle.
Ideally you need to elect small government conservatives forever. That’s the only way to keep taxes low. Low taxes are a function of low spending. That’s it.