by Grand Forks Herald
July 24, 2010 at 8:40 pm in Grand Forks Herald
Reforming government is one thing. Slashing it is something else, and N. D. voters have shown little appetite for the latter. Continue Reading
Tags: ballot measure, Editorials, elections 2010, initiative, Opinion, property taxes, tax, taxes 9 Comments »
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Most people in ND want bigger government because they live off of government. Their worst nightmare is having to earn a living in the private sector and having to pay taxes.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 11 28
I don’t think that’s the case. At our core, North Dakotans (both Republican and Democrat) want effective government action. We get 12 inches of snow on a Saturday, we want our roads plowed. We want competent police patrolling our streets and neighborhoods. We want our children and grandchildren educated in good schools. North Dakotans are pragmatic enough to realize that the cost of these services are going up just like everything else. We’re not about to order everyone to get a snowplow and cut our schools back to the stone age. I’ll admit we don’t have the newest and fanciest machinery, but what we have takes care of all of us. That’s why the “salvation by slashing” mantra doesn’t always ring true.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 22 5
I pay more than 12% in ND state income taxes than federal income taxes. ND government is a fiscal nightmare.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 6 25
We need to get rid of the property tax and implement another way to generate taxes that are needed to run the state. We only rent our homes from the government. If you do not pay your taxes, you lose your home. In Grand Forks this can happen in as little time as three years. A much simpler plan than having homes assessed could be implemented. Once someone buys their home no government entity should be allowed to force you out of it.
Like or Dislike: 11 8
1. Kevin: because of your unique financial situation, you employ a series of tax shelters that are not recognized by the state of North Dakota. If you had a regular job, there’s no way you’d pay more in state taxes than federal. You’ll just have to chalk that up to your job.
2. Macy: I’m a farmer, so any attempt to reduce or eliminate property taxes puts more money in my pocket. However, I’m never in favor of regressive taxation. Property taxes are a fair tax because the more you own, the more you pay. I agree the current property taxes can be burdensome, but replacing it with a regressive tax could prove disastrous.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 21 1
Jeff: I agree with you that we shouldn’t have a regressive tax, but I disagree with you that property taxes are fair. They are especially difficult for seniors on fixed incomes. It is not fair that we have to rent our homes from the government and face being thrown out of our homes if we can not pay the taxes. While I do not claim to have all the answers I think we can do better than property taxes which are cumbersome, tedious, and somewhat subjective. Perhaps, increased sales tax or income tax. I just don’t like it when the tax assessor has to come through our home to count closets and bedrooms. There has to be a better way.
Like or Dislike: 7 9
Macy, I understand the strain everyone on a fixed income is feeling. I used to work a wage job, and understand the frustration when you have more bills than money. However, I think if you look, you’ll find quite a few people of all ages living on a fixed income. If you believe as I do that there’s power in numbers, I’d like to see the “seniors on a fixed income” label go away. As for “renting your home from the government”, your property taxes go toward the services provided to your doorstep. Roads, lights, E-911 address systems, police, fire and other assorted infrastructure are all paid by our taxes. I think the best way for property taxes to go down is for all of us (fixed income, commissioned sales and the self employed alike) to sit and decide what services we don’t need or need less of. Unfortunately, I don’t believe we can have those types of arguments in today’s emotionally charged environment.
Like or Dislike: 14 1
Jeff: Your point is well-taken. There are a lot of us on fixed income – not just seniors. My view point comes from watching my folks struggle with rising property taxes and living on Social Security. Those of us young enough can always get a second job to pay the bills. When you’re 82 years old and can barely walk with even a cane – there are no options. Please don’t suggest I help them out as they only get angry with that suggestion. But regardless of this situation, seniors and all others struggling to pay bills should not be forced out of their homes to pay taxes. Forcing people into homelessness solves
nothing. Certainly, we can find a solution that doesn’t involve the government taking our homes.
Like or Dislike: 6 6
This is one of the more sensible discussions I’ve read. Kevin, my state income tax in 2009 was a little over 12% of my federal liability. I have been paying ND income tax for more than 40 years. I’ve never considered it excessive. I think we should raise the state income tax rate and lower the property taxes. At one time I favored eliminating the property tax altogether until someone pointed out that North Dakota has many absentee landlords. They make a lot of money renting their North Dakota property and pay no income tax to our state. Perhaps we need to address the issue of property taxes for people living hand-to-mouth on fixed incomes. Many elderly, for example, have seen their property taxes rise for one reason or another without a corresponding rise in income. I can understand their frustration. Jeff, it’s great to see someone debate this issue with your insight and tact. Macy, your comments are also reasonable and tactful. You both have shown how people can disagree in an agreeable manner.
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