Issue Position: Taxes
When it comes to taxes, John Hoeven and I could not be further apart. Hoeven has built up a $1.2 billion surplus of your money by overtaxing you and underfunding crucial needs like roads and schools. I don't believe we should be stockpiling this money in the government bank vault. The taxes we take in need to balance with our spending.
As Governor I will:
* Immediately enact the largest tax cut in North Dakota history.
Every North Dakotan who has been overtaxed by the Hoeven administration will see immediate relief if I am elected. I will start working to enact a $1 billion tax reduction package the day I am sworn in. This package includes up to a 75 percent reduction in income taxes, a 25 percent reduction in property taxes. The income tax reduction is targeted to middle class families and the property tax reduction is targeted to in-state residential property owners.
* Give it to those who need it the most, and will spend the most of it.
When you have a $1.2 billion surplus, common sense says its time for a tax cut. But what makes no sense is a tax cut that gives money back to multi-millionaires and out-of state corporations. That is what John Hoeven's current plan does, just like the misguided and budget-busting Bush tax cuts. My tax cut will apply to only the first $165,000 of earnings. I will cut property taxes through expansion of the homestead tax credit, a program that excludes corporate out-of-state property owners. Let's leave this money in the pockets of the hard working North Dakotans who earn it, and those who are most likely to boost our economy by spending the extra money.
* Prevent further increases in your property taxes.
North Dakotans have seen their property taxes increase at a startling level. In fact, since John Hoeven took over as governor in 2000, home property taxes have risen an average of 48 percent. That is unacceptable. I will work with local governments to make sure they hold the line on your property taxes. This includes making sure they have the proper resources to do this. That's why my package includes a $300 million increase in school funding and a $150 million increase in funding to cities and counties.