Fuzzy math clouds picture of tax relief for North Dakotans

Published May 4, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. — In the closing days of North Dakota’s 2015 legislative session, Gov. Jack Dalrymple joined with lawmakers to tout nearly $400 million worth of what his press release called “

a state-paid tax credit during the 2015-2017 biennium,” but of that total $200 million is the continuation of a state-paid tax credit passed in the 2013 legislative session and the entire $250 tax relief,” but citizens might not want to take that number to the bank.

It’s a little misleading, and includes state-paid property tax credit that already exists.

All together Dalrymple, a Republican, is touting a $397 million tax package. Included in that total is $123 million in personal and corporate income tax rate reductions, but the bulk of it might better be described as a shift of spending policy from local budgets to the state budget.

A shift which, for the most part, already existed in the budget.

An April 28 press release from Dalrymple’s office describes “$250 million in property tax reductions to be provided through million represents an increase in state spending.

Dalrymple is also counting “$23 million in permanent property tax relief provided through a transfer of some social service costs from counties to the state,” but much like the $250 million in state-paid property tax credit this decrease in local taxes shows up as an increase in state appropriations.

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Rob Port ([email protected]) writes from Minot, North Dakota. An earlier version of this article appears at http://watchdog.org/215615/fuzzy-math-clouds-picture-tax-relief-north-dakotans/. Reprinted with permission.

The photo, “North Dakota State Capitol” is copyright © 2009 Bobak Ha’Eri, and was made available under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.