June 17, 2010 at 5:07 pm in INFORUM
North Dakota voters strongly support a greater state role in setting aside land to protect natural areas, water and wildlife habitat, according to a new poll.
Tags: conservation, Environment, North Dakota, wildlife 4 Comments »
You know this is one of those things that sounds like a good idea on the surface but there’s more to it than being enviromentally friendly.
Problem is you lose that tax revenue meaning and other area property owners have to make up the difference. This is happening in Minnesota right now and it’s making land ownership difficult for the average citizen.
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Since we have been lead to believe that taxes are a zero sum proposition, the land that is “conserved” no longer pays taxes. Who gets taxed to make up for it?
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The simple solution to the tax issue is have the non profits pay property tax on the land, you could exempt buildings. Then the tax base is still there. But without that change I oppose the idea.
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Two items: As was quoted in the article, non profits are all in favor of paying taxes and most groups like Ducks Unlimited DO pay property taxes. Call any of the non profit groups that are lucky enough to own land and they will show you the facts or visit your county assessor and find out the truth. The second item is the restriction on sales of land to non profits. This is a pure and simple restraint of trade by government regulation that tells a property owner to whom they can and cannot sell their property, all done with the collusion of county commissioners. It interferes with the private property rights of a willing seller. Should the government tell you who you cannot sell your property to? Furthermore, the so called farmers groups exhibit a bizarre contradiction in their publicly available policies. On the one hand, they profess support for strong private property rights, but on the other, as a matter of published policy on their same websites, they oppose landowners who want to sell their land to conservation groups and non profits. You can also read the public record of their testimony before the legislative committees.
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