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Gov. Burgum again urging Legislative leaders to provide a one-time state income tax credit

Dave Thompson, Prairie Public
Gov. Doug Burgum (at lectern), Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner and House Majority Leader Chet Pollert at a Capitol news conference

Gov. Doug Burgum is calling a special Legislative session, starting Nov. 8th, for the Legislature to handle redistricting, and how to spend the latest COVID-19 federal relief money.

This means the Legislature will not have to use the four days it had left over from the regular session.

Burgum told reporters he’s very happy with the priorities laid out for spending the COVID relief money. But he again asked the Legislature to look at using some of the state’s general fund balance – separate from the federal money – to give North Dakota income tax payers a one-time $500 credit.

"In our 'Accelerate ND' program, we talked about using $200 million for tax relief, which would go to 350,000 North Dakota families, as a form of relief for those folks who kept working, and kept our state moving ahead during the pandemic," Burgum said.

But the House and Senate Majority Leaders weren’t too keen on doing that.

"I am not against this," said Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson). "I'm just saying this is not the right time."

Wardner said he had no one in his Senate caucus has come to him, saying "We've got to do this."

House Majority Leader Chet Polllert (R-Carrington) had a similar view.

"I believe in tax relief," Pollert said. "I don't believe it should be one-time."

Pollert said he’s aware of a bill draft that would permanently lower the income tax rate, but that will have to go through a delayed bills committee, before the special session would take it up.

Wardner said he would prefer that such a proposal wait until the 2023 session.

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