As Expected, ND Senate Defeats Bill Proposing Study to Eliminate Property Tax

Senator Jim Dotzenrod (D - District 26) asks the North Dakota Senate to defeat HB 1545. This bill proposed a study on the feasibility of replacing the property tax with another funding mechanism. It was defeated 7-39. (Photo via screenshot.)

Yesterday, we published an article explaining that the North Dakota Senate Finance & Taxation Committee gave a 5-1 Do Not Pass recommendation for House Bill 1545. This legislation proposed a study of the “feasibility and desirability of providing an alternative funding mechanism” to property tax. The Senate voted on the bill today and — as expected — defeated it on a vote of 7 – 39.

Senator Jim Dotzenrod (D – District 26) was the bill carrier. His explanation of why the bill should be defeated would be laughable if it weren’t such a serious issue. You can — and should — watch it here. While Dotzenrod claimed to be “very aware” that property tax is a subject of “some concern” around the state, his explanation of what the Finance & Taxation Committee has been doing to address that issue falls short of acceptable.

In my opinion, Senator Dotzenrod downplayed the issue. On the one hand, he said that the subject is beyond the scope of an interim study, while claiming on the other that they often study the issue “in one way or another” themselves in committee. That seems a bit contradictory. You simply can’t have it both ways.

In addition to this, Dotzenrod also mentions his committees support for a study on replacing special assessments with alternative funding mechanisms. In his mind, this is evidence that they are “concerned and paying attention to this issue”. I disagree. Tinkering around the edges is one thing. Eliminating the entire atrocity is quite another— which is exactly what needs to be done.

Senator Dotzenrod is correct about one thing when he acknowledges that it would take serious commitment and leadership from those in government to replace property taxes. In saying as much, he unwittingly explained the real reason why the bill failed— we have neither commitment or leadership from those who rule from Bismarck. And because of this, we will continue to pay rent to the government for something that is supposed to belong to us.

At the very least, let’s be honest with ourselves— property ownership is a myth.





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About T. Arthur Mason 882 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.