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House passes three income tax relief bills

The North Dakota House has passed three bills dealing with state income tax reductions.

House Bill 1158 eliminates the tax for single filers making $44,750 or less, and on married filers making $74,750 or less. It sets a flat tax rate of 1.5 percent for higher-income earners. House Bill 1118 gives tax credits of $800 for single filers and $1600 per married filers, and sets a 1.99 percent flat tax rate. And House Bill 1425 would

"This will make our state more competitive in attracting workers and businesses," said Rep. Jared Hagert (R-Emerado). "This will move us forward in joining the eight states with no individual income tax, including our neighbor to the south."

Hagert said HB 1158 puts more dollars back into the state's "vibrant economy."

Rep. Zac Ista (D-Grand Forks) argued the measure's $566 million price tag is too high – and too risky – because it means more dependence on "volatile" oil taxes.

"It won't be two years from now, or four years from now, but at some point, the tax policy in this bill is going to crash headlong into reality," Ista said. "And we're going to be faced a need to make sharp and sudden budge cuts — not just an FTE here or there, but real cuts that our constituents will feel."

The House Finance and Tax Committee chairman – Rep. Craig Headland (R-Montpelier) – said the three bills will all be part of negotiating with the Senate on what income tax relief will entail.

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