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Senate votes to end medical school property tax levy

The state Senate has approved a proposed state Constitutional amendment to do away with the statewide one-mill property tax for the UND Medical School.

That one-mill levy collects around $11 million per biennium for the med school. Its budget is roughly $246 million.

"It has nothing to do with any negative feelings toward the Medical School at all," said Sen. Jordan Kannianen (R-Stanley). "It's strictly property tax policy, and tax policy in general."

Kannianen told the Senate when property tax is discussed, some people have said the State doesn't have anything to do with collecting property taxes.

"Technically, that's not true," Kannianen said. He said the idea is to replace the property tax funding with general fund money.

But Sen. Judy Lee (R-West Fargo) spoke against the change.

"Right now, we have strong support for the medical school, and I hope that continues," Lee said. "I cannot support this resolution, that would take away a small fraction of the budget, a stable, steady, constantly increasing part of the medical school budget."

Lee said the medical school is a critical part of delivering health care in North Dakota.

The Senate passed the amendment on a 29 to 18 vote. It will now be considered in the House. And if it passes there, it would be on the ballot in 2024.

The measure is SCR 4019.

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