property tax relief

ND Association of Counties

The executive director of the North Dakota Association of Counties says you’ll see some differences in your property tax bills this fall.

Mark Johnson said the 12 percent buy down is gone. Johnson says with the slowdown in the oil industry, state lawmakers decided the state could no longer afford that.

"Legislators said that on the floor," Johnson said in an interview. "They said it's probably not sustainable."

Johnson said at the time the 12 percent buydown passed, legislators wanted to, as Johnson put it, "Share the abundance we had for a couple of years."

ND Legislature

The chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee says the Legislature continues to put a high priority on property tax relief.

Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks) said all you have to do is look at the percentages of state expenditures that go towards keeping property taxes down.

In a memo to Holmberg, the Legislative Council said in the 2015-2017 biennium, the state provided $1.313 billion in property tax relief – or  about 21.8 percent of the state’s general fund budget.

A House-Senate conference committee has reached an agreement over a proposal to have the state take over funding social service programs that had been paid through county property taxes.

This replaces the 12 percent buydown the state had set aside for property tax relief.

Right now, counties can levy up to 20 mills to pay for those programs.

ND Legislature

The House has passed its version of a property tax relief bill.

Like the Senate version , it achieves relief through the state picking up the costs of county social service programs. This will replace the 12 percent buy-down program currently in state law. But the House plan only buys down what a local county levies for those programs, whereas the Senate’s version gives those counties that don’t levy the maximum 20 mills a pot of money to make up the difference between what they  actually collect and what property taxpayers would receive under the 12 percent buy-down.

ND Legislature

An agreement is near on a bill to have the state pick up the cost of county social services.

The House Finance and Taxation Committee has aspproved amendments to the bill introduced by House Majority Leader Al Carlson (R-Fargo. The amendments call for a two year pilot project, involving having the state take over all North Dakota counties’ costs for providing social service programs. Then, after two years,

"We're going to ask the Department of Human Services to put in their budget a plan for the future," Carlson told Capitol reporters.

ND Legislature

A bill supporters call true property tax relief – and reform – is a source of disagreement between the House and the Senate as the 2017 Legislative session heads toward adjournment.

That bill would have the state take over full funding of social service programs now funded by county property taxpayers.

"That really is an important bill as far as getting everything to fall in line," said Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson).

Wardner said he believes it is sustainable property tax relief.

ND Legislature

As the Legislature debates whether to have the state take over funding for county social service programs, the future of the 12 percent property tax buydown plan appears to be slightly shaky.

That “bucket” of money – which comes from oil taxes – would be used to pay for the takeover of the county responsibility for social services. But the House wants to study it for two years. And there is a question if the 12 percent will be there for the second year of this biennium.

Legislative Council

North Dakota's House Republican Leader said one of his top priorities for the upcoming Legislative session is to fully-fund the 12 percent property tax buy down program.

With state tax collections down significantly, some lawmakers have suggested the state’s efforts to buy-down local property taxes might have to be changed – or scrapped.

But many legislators say the money is there – and should not be diverted elsewhere.

Income tax relief bills on hold

Mar 20, 2015

One of the uncertainties following this week’s new budget forecast is whether the Legislature will be granting income and corporate tax relief.

Two bills are pending in the Legislature – one would grant a total of $125 million in individual and corporate income tax relief – the other has a $150 million price tag.

"I think there will be something," said House Majority Leader Al Carlson (R-Farg0). "My reaction is to do something. But we're going to have to delay it until the money's there."