Dalrymple proposes $545 million in tax relief
FARGO - North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple unveiled a budget plan on Monday he said would cut taxes by nearly $545 million in the 2013-15 biennium. The proposal includes a 50 percent reduction in the average school district tax levy, which would me...
FARGO - North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple unveiled a budget plan on Monday he said would cut taxes by nearly $545 million in the 2013-15 biennium.
The proposal includes a 50 percent reduction in the average school district tax levy, which would mean an estimated $1,070 annual reduction in taxes on a home valued at $180,000.
Overall, Dalrymple's plan would result in reductions in property taxes, income taxes and corporate taxes. It would also make more people eligible for the homestead tax credit.
Dalrymple said the cuts follow similar tax cuts passed in recent years.
"This is a continuation of a project that John Hoeven and I began many years ago," Dalrymple said, referring to a 2009 proposal that resulted in about $400 million in tax relief and a 2011 proposal that brought about $500 million in tax relief.
State Sen. Ryan Taylor, D-Towner, who is challenging Dalrymple in November, said Monday that his own tax relief proposal was announced more than two months ago, before June's public vote on a measure that sought to eliminate property taxes in the state.
For the purpose of computing property taxes, Taylor's proposal calls for a reduction of $100,000 of a primary residence's home value, with the same reduction applied to farm property.
He estimated the savings under his plan at $232 million for residential homeowners and $84 million for owners of agricultural land.
Taylor also wants to provide relief to renters. Under his proposal, renters would receive an income tax credit worth 15 percent of their rent up to a maximum of $900 a year.
Under Dalrymple's plan, which will be presented to the Legislature in January if he wins re-election, the biggest tax cuts would be in school taxes. They would be reduced about 50 percent, resulting in about $400 million in savings to property taxpayers.
Under the proposal, Dalrymple said the state would accept a greater share of the cost of K-12 education and the local share of the cost of education would go down.
"We will propose that the property tax relief that we are proposing be made permanent," Dalrymple added.
Under the current homestead tax credit, Dalrymple said people older than 65 and those who are disabled can apply to have all or a portion of their property taxes paid by the state.
The credit is limited to those whose annual incomes do not exceed $26,000 and is applied to home values of up to $100,000.
Dalrymple proposes raising the income threshold to $50,000 per household. Social Security benefits would be ignored in the calculation of the income test.
Estimated savings to qualifying taxpayers: $20 million in property taxes per biennium.
"That is on top of all the regular tax relief provided to taxpayers," Dalrymple said. "This particularly relief will go a long ways in helping senior citizens and the disabled remain in their homes many more years."
At his news conference Monday in Fargo, Dalrymple was joined by area lawmakers and property owners, including Gib Bromenschenkel, of Fargo.
Bromenschenkel, 81, and a former Fargo city commissioner, said Dalrymple's tax proposal will benefit everyone, but especially seniors.
"It's all important at this time, so we can stay in our house," he said.
Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author's name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send a letter to the editor.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555