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Monday, February 06, 2012



Elimination of property taxes would be the best thing that could possibly happen in North Dakota or any state in our nation. Property taxes make us literal serfs on our own land and deny us the security of actually having true ownership of our homes.

“Oh yes,” say those opposing abolishing property taxes, “but as unfair, complex and regressive as property taxes are we should fix and not get rid of them.” Over the last 20 years the Legislature has attempted more than 135 “fixes”. We have a bigger mess now than we did 20 years ago.

The opposition tells us property taxes provide local control. What they don’t ever get around to telling us and it appears no one is asking, is whether there is any truth to the claim property taxes provide local control.

The truth is property taxes provide NO local control. Ask yourself, the next time you pay your property tax or appeal it whether you believe you have any control over the assessment or how your tax payment is spent. The honest answer is NONE.

The only thing local about property taxes is where the property is located. How property valuations are determined is not done locally – the state tells local jurisdictions exactly what they must do and what they cannot do.

We hear those opposing Measure 2 that, while fixing property taxes is necessary Measure 2 isn’t the right way. Not only is it the right way it’s the only way. The only beneficiary of property taxes is the government itself. This is clearly demonstrated when we look who is opposed. The opposition is government and those that live off our taxes – special interests that benefit from our tax payments.

Those fearing their easy access to our money tell us that Measure 2 is too drastic. Instead they suggest we take our time. “Do it over 8 to 10 years so government can adjust,” they say. We all know this is nothing more than a way to put it off and never do it.

The superintendent of schools in Valley City summed up exactly why government likes property taxes. He said, “What I like about property taxes is it doesn’t matter what the economic times are like we still get all our money.” He’s right; families are forced to do without to pay their property tax or face losing their home, so government doesn’t have to tighten its belt as do we taxpayers.

It’s time to put the horse before the cart. It’s time we the people come first and government second. Measure 2 is the only way to deal with property taxes. Vote yes on Measure 2. The changes in government will be exactly what we need. Finally government will begin to understand they serve us not the other way around.

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Avatar for Lynn Bergman

Let’s exempt everyone, not just the “chosen winners” below:

NDCC Ref.Property EXEMPTED due to local discretion or charity
40-57.1   New or expanding businesses
57-02.2   Improvements to property
57-02-08Buildings belonging to institutions of charity
  New single family residential/townhouse/condos
  Property used for early childhood services
  Pollution abatement improvements

Lynn Bergman on February 9, 2012 at 02:35 pm
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