Property tax a hot topic at the ND Legislature

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 7:03 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Lawmakers are hearing bills that would address one of the top issues for North Dakotans. On Wednesday, there were three separate bills introduced addressing property tax.

“The bill that I have now would lower our local contribution from 60 mills to 30 mills, so if school property tax is half your tax bill, this would cut that another half, so it would be, basically, a quarter of your property tax bill,” said Senator Donald Schaible, R-Mott.

That’s right, Senator Schaible’s bill would provide a total reduction of 25% in property tax by decreasing school district funding and increasing the state’s contribution.

“There’s the debate whether it’s a state mission or not, we don’t really control property tax, and that’s part of the reason I’m using the school formula,” said Senator Schaible.

Nobody testified in opposition to Senator Schaible’s bill. Another group that could potentially see property tax relief? Seniors.

“What can we do to maintain these individuals in our community? And the biggest thing is some kind of property tax relief,” said Senator Curt Kreun, R-Grand Forks.

Senator Curt Kreun’s bill would freeze property tax for people 65 and up at the rate most recently levied. Those opposed say there are better avenues for tax relief, like the Homestead tax credit.

“This bill would disproportionately affect smaller communities. One thing to keep in mind is of the 355 cities in North Dakota, 307 of those are under 1,000 people,” said Matt Gardner, executive director for the North Dakota League of Cities.

And then there’s HB 1328, which would change the type of tax levied on residences in mobile home parks, where Representative Clair Cory says residents pay roughly 11% higher property tax because their homes are taxed as commercial rather than residential properties.

“In a combination of tax reliefs being proposed by the chamber, we can chip away at the problem,” said Representative Cory, R-Grand Forks.

Those opposed to the bill say that the reduction in assessment would reduce property tax for the landowners, but doesn’t guarantee that it would be passed on to the renters.

There have been at least 18 property tax bills introduced so far.