Commonsense Property Tax Relief
Oil development in western North Dakota has brought unprecedented prosperity to the state, but the rapid growth that has accompanied the oil boom has had a number of negative externalities. One such consequence of the oil boom has been a drastic rise in property values, driving up property taxes. There is benefit in appreciating values if you're selling your home or sharing in the appreciating economy, but if you're a long term resident who wants to stay and are living on a fixed income or an income stream that's not tied to the oil industry, you begin to feel a severe pinch. This has caused burdens on already stretched middle class families, and has led to reactionary actions such as the extreme "Measure 2" initiative to eliminate property taxes all together.
But we must remember, property taxes are the most direct source of local funding--which pays for crucial public services (e.g. police, firefighters, and schooling).
Therefore, a reasonable policy approach to the issue of property taxes must balance these two priorities: (1) providing meaningful property tax relief to North Dakota families, especially those already under financial strain and (2) maintaining the integrity of local-funding streams for essential services.