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Lawmakers will consider tax relief bills during the special session

The Legislature will be looking at tax relief bills during the special session.

One is Gov. Doug Burgum’s idea of giving income tax payers a $500 credit. As introduced by Rep. Pat Heinert (R-BIsmarck), that credit will be for 2021 and 2022.

In my opinion, this is not a spending bill," Heinert said. "It's a 'sharing in the wealth' bill."

Also, two bills have been introduced to cut North Dakota’s tax on Social Security benefits. One came from the House, one from the Senate. They are the exact same bill, and will likely be melded into one measure by the legislature’s Joint Technical Corrections Committee.

The Senate sponsor – David Hogue (R-Minot) -- told the Senate he supports the plans to spend the $1 billion in federal COVID relief money. But he called his proposal a matter of “proportionality.”

"If you're gonna spend $1 billion over here, maybe we should give back something to the citizens of North Dakota," Hogue said. "That's my central premise."

The majority leaders in both the House and Senate have said they are not in favor of “one time” tax breaks, and instead would support permanent tax cuts — to be discussed at a regular Legislative session.

But the two differ in where the cuts should come – House Majority Leader Chet Pollert (R-Carrington) supports an income tax cut, while Senae Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) prefers a property tax cut.

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