ND League of Cities votes to oppose the property tax initiative
The North Dakota League of Cities is on record opposing the proposed initiated Constitutional measure to eliminate property taxes.
The initiative is authored by former Rep. Rick Becker (R-Bismarck). It would replace the property tax with state funding.
"Property tax provides substantial funding for our general funds," said League President Todd Feland. "General funds in cities is basically, police, fire, public safety answering point. It provides public works, mainly streets, and public health."
In an interview, Feland said property tax is really a positive funding source.
"And at the local level, the League has always had an informed point to keep decisions at the local level, where possible," Feland said. "We know that people who are on city commissions or city councils, mayors — they know what's going on in their communities."
Feland said it’s estimated that the state Legislature would have to appropriate $1.2 billion to replace the property tax.
"That's certainly a significant amount," Feland said. "And I don't think the state has a plan on how to fill that gap — not only once, but how to continue to fill that gap."
Becker needs more than 31,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot.