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Column: How much of this 'boom to bust to budget cut' drama can we take?

Property owners in North Dakota need to get ready for substantial property tax increases this next biennium courtesy of the failures of the GOP-controlled legislature. Mike McFeely's April 17th column is spot-on blaming the GOP Legislature and GOP governors for gross mismanagement during the boom years.

The GOP Legislature completely mismanaged the Bakken oil boom years cutting income and oil extraction taxes far too much. The proposed 12 percent buy-down for property owners has been eliminated by the budget-cutting Legislature. The large GOP tax cuts for income taxes, corporate income taxes, and especially the huge oil extraction tax cuts are greatly exacerbating North Dakota's budget revenue shortfalls far more than the oil decline itself.

The GOP Legislature has pushed the tax burden to local county, city governments and schools, while reducing state aid to local government and schools to support expensive tax cuts for out-of-state oil companies.

The bottom line here is that the North Dakota GOP has decided to serve the special interest needs of large out-of-state oil companies, large corporations and the wealthy, while shifting the tax burden of state government to local property owners.

Local property owners are likely to see double-digit increases or higher due to GOP budgetary negligence. The expensive GOP tax cuts during the oil boom years were far too large and financially unsustainable.

Now, the GOP budget cuts are too harsh in the oil bust years on the higher education system. Serious long-term damage is being done to the higher education system in North Dakota from those vindictive GOP budget cuts.

Most good 21st century jobs require a two- or four-year degree. So, hurting higher education is hurting your own children's or grandchildren's future. The re-election of republicans who support corporate special interests while ignoring the public interest means double-digit property tax increases for all property owners for years to come. Please try a different political party if you want more equitable property taxes in North Dakota.

How much more of this GOP "boom to bust to budget cut" drama can North Dakota property taxpayers afford?

Stoutenburg lives in Moorhead.

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