Measure would end the statewide property tax levy for the UND Medical School

Feb 14, 2013

A House committee is considering a state Constitutional measure to end a statewide property tax levy for the UND Medical School.

One mill is levied statewide.

The sponsor of the amendment – Rep. Wes Belter (R-Fargo) – says that one mill raises about $2.5 million a year for the med school.

"This is not an issue of whether we're for or against the Medical School," Belter told the House Judiciary Committee. "The question is -- have we now reached a point where we have the funds available to give to the Medical School and whether we should take this off the property tax. That's the real issue."

But Med School representatives say if the one mill goes away – there’s no guarantee that the Legislature would make up the difference from the state general fund.

"The loss of those funds, if not replaced by appropriated dollars as part of base funding, would have a dramatically negative impact on our students," said Med School Dean Dr. Joshua Wynne. "It would either force greatly curtailed educational programs or requre oppressive tuition increases of almost 20 percent."

The House Judiciary Committee is considering the amendment. If it passes both houses, it would be on the general election ballot in 2014.

Dr. Joshua Wynne, UND Med School dean, at House Judiciary Committee hearing
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public