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Higher Ed Board against measures

State Capitol Bureau BISMARCK - If North Dakota voters pass initiated measures No. 1 and No. 2, it would not only hurt the future of the state, but would also hinder North Dakota University System's plans for holding tuition steady and granting f...

State Capitol Bureau

BISMARCK - If North Dakota voters pass initiated measures No. 1 and No. 2, it would not only hurt the future of the state, but would also hinder North Dakota University System's plans for holding tuition steady and granting faculty salary increases, members of the Board of Higher Education said Wednesday.

The board took an official stand, opposing both measures.

"We'd have to raise tuition 8 (percent) to 12 percent," President Richie Smith of Wahpeton said during the discussion.

If passed, Measure 1 would make much of the state's Permanent Oil Tax Trust Fund off limits to legislative spending, starting July 1. The principal could be spent only if three-fourths of legislators in both chambers agreed.

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The trust fund currently exists, fed with much of the state's share of oil-production taxes, but there are no restrictions on spending it. The Legislature has used it to balance the budget and provide property-tax relief the past two sessions.

Measure 2 is the proposed state income-tax cut of 50 percent for individuals and 15 percent for corporations.

Laura Glatt, the University System's vice chancellor for administrative affairs, said it would hurt the board's plan for faculty pay increases, cause tuition increases and cancel a planned jump in state grants that help students through college.

Cole works for Forum Communications Co., which owns The Forum. She can be reached at (701) 224-0830 or forumcap@btinet.net

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