November 3, 2010 at 7:00 pm in INFORUM
A majority of Cass County voters living outside a proposed Fargo-Moorhead diversion channel voted Tuesday against the county’s half-cent sales tax to pay for it.
Tags: Cass County, Election, election 2010, Flood, flood tax, flooding 39 Comments »
Now let’s lobby our legislatures’ to lower the states’ share of the 7.5% sales tax from 5 to 4 percent since the state has so much income that we need to set up numerous rainy day funds. We’ve reduced property taxes and income taxes with all the surplus state money so why not states’ share of the sales tax?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 42 7
I agree Dave, lets dip into those extra funds they have been bragging about. Flood protection should be a priority and solid investment for future flood control.
Hot debate. What do you think? 22 20
I highly doubt that the Legislature will drop the state sales tax rate. The sales tax raises roughly two thirds of the state budget in North Dakota every two year budget cycle.
Of course, the people via the initiated measure process could propose a decrease in the sales tax. However, that involves a petition-gathering process and ultimately a vote of the people.
Like or Dislike: 0 2
Yea as I thought the greedy elitist pathetic Fargo people want everyone else to pay for them. Its pathetic that while this will primarily benefit Fargo the rest of us have to pay for it, oh well I take trips to GF and Bismarck monthly, will start buying things there as I’m there already.
Greedy Fargo and their arrogant bully mayor King Denny are pathetic.
Hot debate. What do you think? 53 46
Greedy Fargoans? Those that live there will pay the tax 100% of the time. Those who don’t shop there won’t, oh and figure that cost of gas into the trip to ensure a 1/2 cent/ dollar makes up the difference.
Like or Dislike: 9 6
Hey I got an idea. King Denny is really clueless. The only thing he understands is the red river, kind of like Bush having a personal vendetta against Sadaam. Let’s just create a full time job for him, pay him $150K a year and let him fill sand bags and patrol the Red River. Once a month we will let him hold a press conference with the Senators, Congressmen, and that Mahoney guy. King Denny will be happy, we won’t have to raise taxes, the Red will be under control, and Mahoney will get his TV time as well. Problem solved!
He’s not a mayor. Just like Pomeroy supporting Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. Denny fought hard for Pomeroy.
Like or Dislike: 4 5
Am I right that now that this tax passed there will be no special assessments? So the people that receive the most benefit and receive a decrease in flood insurance rates or now don’t have to pay any insurance pay the same tax as the rest of us? Shouldn’t some of this money come from assessments, wouldn’t that have been fair?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 44 12
So West Fargo gets to pay for another diversion. When West Fargo built the sheyenne diversion that was all property tax money and Fargo didn’t have to help. So now West Fargo and the surrounding communities have to help out “poor” ol Fargo. Raise their property taxes it benefits Fargo and only Fargo. Tired of hearing Denny crying every year.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 50 17
City of Fargo does need to give up more land. Let the river flow where it is and raise the banks around it….where it is. more impoundments need to be used too. Its ridiculous to build that big of a diversion and waste that many acres of land/money. Theres is a better way.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 49 10
My feeling is that Fargo should pay for the Fargo diversion. The city of Page gets absolutely no benefit from such a diversion, or, I should say, gets no more benefit from the diversion than the cities of Mayville, Finley, Cooperstown, etc. The diversion is important, but it’s obvious the people outside Fargo didn’t feel they should have to pay for it with a county sales tax.
I really see their point. Maybe we should have had a statewide sales tax increase to help pay for the Fargo diversion. Again, the only reason people in Page are paying more is because the boundary lines of Cass county weren’t drawn farther East.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 41 11
What really stinks is that Fargo is wanting help to pay for a diversion, yet Fargo goes and spends $250,000 on a study to see if a one way should be turned into a two way street. Nice to see they can waste money like that.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 61 5
How many of the whiners work in Fargo? Do you not realize that if this city is devastated you will be out of work? For the record I voted against the tax because it is non specific to a project, but if a tax came up that was specific I would vote for it.
Hot debate. What do you think? 30 30
Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.
Leave these little podunks alone. They really can’t be all that bright and no educated young person in their right mind would ever move to one anyway. They’ll eventually dry up and all will be good in the world.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 11 46
New congress, I think the diversion project is going to have a hard time moving forward. They say they are going to start cutting projects, so do you think this is safe?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 24 6
Like or Dislike: 10 13
Was this comment intended to make no sense? Am I missing some sort of irony here? I appreciate high level humor as much as anybody, and I think I might have missed one here. You have the word ‘doctor’ in your moniker and talk about educated young people, yet you produce a totally nonsensicle comment. Again I ask – irony?
Like or Dislike: 16 4
What’s non-sensical about it? No recent college grad would dream of moving out to the country or some little crap town so they can make $20,000/yr. Small towns provide NOTHING a young adult would want if they want to be successful. The town is simply too small to have any jobs that pay a REAL salary. Can they get by and live a humble or semi-comfortable life? Maybe. But everyone I know wants a real shot at life. If you think about it, anyone who has capacity to earn a great living would be ill-advised to move someplace like Page or Cooperstown. That’s just the way it is.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 11 29
Funny, I’m sure that’s what people in New York think of people in Fargo. To each his own, I guess. So reaching the pinnacle of success is living in Fargo North Dakota? Who’d a thunk it!
Like or Dislike: 11 1
No big surprise in this news article. Why would anyone in Cass County want pay taxes on a project that will absolutely devastate their life by ruining their property, making it worthless and impossible to sell. Granted….there was no project identified so no firm idea of what the money was going to be used for yet. But I think by now, everyone knows that Fargoans rule the roost in Cass County and what Fargo wants, Fargo gets. The rest of the county can suck air! They are lucky if their road gets fixed after the flood washes it out every spring. When the flood hits, many of these people can’t get to work in Fargo anyway because they have to either sandbag or secure their home and property which is at risk of being destroyed by the flood. They don’t have the manpower and financial resources of a large city to tap into when protecting their homes and businesses. Destroying 36 miles of the best farmland on the continent, removed from production…forever, when every year a couple of million dollars worth of mitigation expense solves the problem isn’t only stupid, it’s absolutely criminal. Fargoans don’t want to get their hands dirty any longer with sandbags and mud….all of which has become a way of life out in the rural areas and if Fargo gets it’s way, the only solution is to sell out and leave the county for higher ground. Shame on Fargo for snubbing their noses and shoving their problems off on someone else. They probably need the money for another sports arena, bike path or traffic study.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 38 10
I live in Fargo but voted against it. How can anyone vote to pay for something that isn’t even defined yet? Just to give good old denny more millions to access without accepting any reasonable level of responsibility for anything in particular? This is a joke at best and merely shows the reactive and uninformed opinions of many Fargo residents who only understand political ads and not facts. Other side of the issue is downstream communities who disfavor it. For them I have little sympathy or empathy. Fargo is the driver that sustains most of their communities and yes employs a significant portion of their residents. Also, if the Fargo area is more secure it will free up more resources to help with downstream initiatives. I think many downstream groups see this thru predispositions and tunnel vision because they feel out of control.
Hot debate. What do you think? 20 12
Because, simple-mind, you start saving EARLY so that you have more money IN THE BANK when you make a big purchase. Or do you just pay for everything with credit cards and have no savings? I have a savings account. Don’t know what I will spend it on yet. But I put money into it every month. Why can’t Fargo do the same thing? Why put off the savings for a year? You make no sense at all. Once they decide what the project will be, will it matter? It’s not like it’s going to go to a vote so that YOU can put your two cents in. There is nothing wrong with collecting some money up front that we don’t have to borrow later!
Hot debate. What do you think? 16 19
It stands to reason. Even if you’re not worried about additional water from a diversion, the odds are pretty solid that you do a lot of shopping in Fargo/West Fargo. Either way, you probably voted against it.
Like or Dislike: 11 8
Again, Fargo is the hub. You lose the hub, you lose everything around it. Everything these small cities get comes thru Fargo. Not to mention the jobs you may have here, and the shopping.
I live in WFgo. I’m paying for the Wfgo diversion. But, I voted yes to the tax, looking at the bigger picture than NIMBY or the horrible argument that “I don’t have anything to do for Fargo, so I shouldn’t have to pay for it.” See above…
Hot debate. What do you think? 18 22
I agree that something needs to be done for flood protection but think that we are not looking at all the options available.
Instead of asking residents if they want flood protection they should have also put this on the ballot, Do you want to pay an extra half cent tax for the next 20 years for a flood control project we don’t even know if it is going to go through yet, will consume some of the best farm land in the country and has major implications for residents down stream?
Fargo definitely put the cart before the horse on this one, and they are not even sure if they have a horse yet. The rest of Cass county had it right to vote no, not because it isn’t needed, but because Fargo doesn’t have a plan yet.
The questions that I really want answered are, what if they decide not to do a diversion? Does the tax get repealed? Do I get my Money back? What will the money be spent on instead of the diversion? We just gave the city a free shot at our checkbooks and we don’t know what we are paying for yet.
Nice work Fargo, way to do your due diligence on this one.
Like or Dislike: 21 7
There seems to be a lot of criticism of the City of Fargo but wasn’t it the County that placed this on the ballot. It seems if someone has a complaint they should take it up with the county board, or should have done so months ago. Now it is all water under the bridge.
Hot debate. What do you think? 17 18
Please don’t bring logic into this abu. This forum is only for whiny cry babies.
Hot debate. What do you think? 22 15
i LOVE the rural farm folks who think the ‘big city’ should be left to die. ‘why should we help them?’ they all say….
well, we have carried the weight for you for years and years. we still do. we always will. and im happy to be a team player. face, it you dont pay a DIME in taxes on your HOUSE. you dont pay full taxes on your farm land. you dont pay for the roads and bridges you, and you alone, drive on. come on, you dont even sell your crops to me at a market rate!
all of that and you think you should not be ‘forced’ to give $20 a year to cass county to build a ditch. here is the funny thing…… you whine and cry about this to everyone that will listen……. and you fail to comprehend dont even have to pay a dime in cass county taxes if you CHOOSE not to!! i wish i could choose which taxes i had to pay.
message to all you rural folks; i wont pay for your things and you dont have to pay for my things, deal? oh, before you answer…… i will need you to give me back ALL the money ive given you in the past 100 years (plus a fair interest rate of course) to build my ditch through my town. i can send the assessor out to figure out what you owe us……if need be we can just take some of your land as PARTIAL payment……to start we will need about….oh, +/-35 miles of it around 1,200 feet wide. so, do we have a deal?
Hot debate. What do you think? 14 23
Please do build your ditch through your town. Buy out all the homes near the river and you should have plenty of room for it. Then you won’t need the diversion (as I’m sure a man as intelligent as yourself realizes the current diversion proposal does not have your ditch inside of the city limits of Fargo).
Like or Dislike: 17 7
Mr Doc Tooth, you should not disparage the rural communities as you do. While I do understand that Cass County farmers have received $527 million in the last fiftteen years in farm support, this is a very small portion of the total amount the US government spends each year. And you should find comfort that many of these dollars are probably spent in Fargo so your tax dollars that are spent to give to farmers, they spend them in Fargo to buy t rucks and tractors and horse feed. I am sure they need the money they get from the government more than you do or the government would give you some. And the governor, he must need it really bad because he got about $2 million dollars himself. Is that why he can be governor and be farmer at the same time? But you make a point about building the ditch, perhaps the government would allow to use the farm money for a few years to build the ditch and then you can give them money after that. Maybe that would make eveybody happy and you woudn’t need the sales tax. It be just a thought, you think.
Like or Dislike: 10 8
Also, if you can show me a receipt that shows you paid taxes 100 years ago, I will reimburse you for that amount in today’s dollars.
One this for sure. It will be easy to figure out tips. Just take the tax times 2.
Like or Dislike: 4 2
doc tooth…you obviously don’t know a whole lot about agribusiness. Nice try however. You didn’t mention that the success of agribusiness in Cass County basically will make or break Fargo. Sometime, count up how many businesses in Fargo exist basically to support agriculture. Its a bunch. Land along the Red River in Fargo is basically worthless land other than the bike path and a few trees, a place for the deer to hide. Year after year…Fargo puts up a temporary levee which year after year, holds back the flood water. I think this whole diversion nonsense has been caused simply because nobody in Fargo can face up to the fact that someday, the wonderful view of the Red River from Fargo streets is going to go away because there needs to be flood protection there instead. A lot of trees are going to have to disappear and some houses…but if you want flood protection, that is the deal. This is what rural homeowners who live along the Red River have had to do on both the Minnesota and North Dakota sides of the river and it will probably be what Fargo will have to do also. Fargo homeowners who must sell their home to make way for a levee…can simply move into a house three blocks away. In rural areas you can’t do that because there are so few rural properties and to find one for sale may mean moving 15 – 20 miles away..or possibly outside the Red River Valley entirely. When a rural property comes up for sale, it is usually very expensive and even rural properties which are located miles away from the nearest river are faced with annual flooding due to poor overland water drainage. So….cutting a half mile swath through 36 miles of farmland and farmsites, is not only a stupid and expensive idea, nobody has even considered at this time how much a ditch of that size will cost to MAINTAIN every year. Once a large ditch like that is built, there will be maintenance required every single year. The soil in the county does not hold up on a ditch bank very well so there are continual sag outs which are going to take millions of dollars each year to repair. Go look at some rural roads and ditches in the county where half the road is falling into the ditch and you will see what I am talking about. Repairing the damage from erosion is a continuous job and expense. Along a ditch such as the proposed diversion, there will be hundreds of drainage culverts, more maintenance. Then there will need to be bridges to get across the diversion, more maintenance. The prospect of maintaining a Fargo Diversion absolutely no doubt brings a huge smile on the faces of excavating companies and civil engineering firms who will make hundreds of millions of dollars with the continuous repairs and upgrades. The half cent sales tax increase will probably not even pay for the annual maintenance on a diversion project of this type if it is ever completed. For those who never drive on anything but paved roads, this is probably hard to understand…but spend a little time out in the rural areas, talking to rural dwellers and you will learn a lot.
Like or Dislike: 12 4
If Fargo is the driving force of everything in the area, why not keep all of the taxes for the flood protection for Fargo in Fargo? If people come from all over to buy stuff from Fargo, then they will be helping pay for the protection. If people aren’t going to Fargo to buy stuff, then they would be less affected by it getting flooded. The ones that would be affected are the ones that live, work, and/or purchase goods from Fargo, so tax them and only them.
Like or Dislike: 10 3
Here is one thing that no one ever seems to bring up about the surrounding rural areas: the miles and miles of drain tile, drainage ditches, etc. None of these things help Fargo’s flooding situation at all. We have obviously had a very historic cycle of wets years, but the water gets to the river historically fast too. The farmers and their well drained acreage are partially responsible for Fargoâ€™s flooding problem. I donâ€™t think that this item should have even been on the ballet at this point. With a defined scope, voters might actually know where their money will be going. What a novel concept.
Like or Dislike: 4 7
Too late Lucas! Many of the people who are going to pay this tax are going to be the ones who will get hurt if a short sighted project such as a diversion gets built. Fargoans won’t escape the punishment either when the final truth comes out that even though some big federal dollars are pumped in to build the big ditch, there isn’t going to be any federal dollars to maintain it. Thus…another tax increase for that purpose. Again, those in rural areas will be paying the tax, as water pours in on them during these floods. The big city ramrods in this project will somehow look good because even though we are now broke, they saved Fargo from the floods and the engineering firms will escape any blame with the excuse that they just designed what everyone wanted, but the end result will be the same….a huge bill to pay and a lot of flood damage downstream.
Like or Dislike: 7 2
During the next flood season, letâ€™s remind our rural neighbors how little they benefit from Fargo having permanent flood control.
Since we will be busy with temporary flood control for Fargo, we wonâ€™t have time to help our neighbors. If we have extra sandbags left over, let them sit in the warehouses in case we may need them. If we have extra manpower or equipment after we secure our town, let them sit idle so that they may be rested in case we need them. And donâ€™t forget to close all roads leading into town since the rural folk donâ€™t benefit from Fargo being dry. They can go without shopping for a couple weeks, and those who commute to work will just have to stay home without a paycheck.
And for long term solutions, letâ€™s drop the sales taxes and go with assessments. The cheapest and easiest solution would be flood walls. Who cares what impact they have on downstream and upstream communities, they arenâ€™t paying for it.
Or we could just work together and protect all the residents of the county. Donâ€™t forget that the county sales tax will also fund flood control for the smaller towns in Cass. If we adopt an â€œeverybody for themselvesâ€ attitude, will the small towns have the funds for their own protection? Or would they rather cooperate and get some of the funds that Fargo residents are going to chip in when they buy stuff?
Like or Dislike: 2 5
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the tax measure was going to be a rural vs. urban issue. The funny thing is that it’s these same people who live in the rural areas of Cass County that bemoan having to come to Fargo because of the higher sales tax.
A good number of these rural Cass County folks commute into Fargo every day for work, school, etc. Therefore, if Fargo were to ever be hit with a major flood; such as the magnitude of the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks flood, the trickle down effects to the rest of the county would be immediate and have a large impact.
If the entire city were paralyzed by such a cateclismic event, these same rural people would not be able to get to Fargo to shop or whatever. The businesses they work for here would be severely impacted if not be destroyed. The snowball effect would be endless.
Thank God, we’ve been able to hold back the Red River all these years of flood fights, but our luck isn’t going to hold out forever.
This is not “nasty Fargo” shoving its will down the throats of the rest of the county. Fargo is the seat of government of Cass County, so whatever happens in Fargo will in some way, shape or form, directly affect what goes on in the rest of the county.
So, rural Cass County people, all I can say is suck it up. You might not like being on the losing side of this issue; but a sales tax was the only fair way of evenly distributing the financial burden of paying for these projects. Would you rather have had a stiff increase in your property taxes, instead? That would have been the only other alternative to raise the local share of the funding for these permanent flood control projects. So there.
Like or Dislike: 4 9
I’m tired of hearing how important Fargo is, so everyone should dig into their pocketbooks and do what they can to protect Fargo. Don’t the property owners of Fargo have any responsibility for their own flood protection? It is their property that is being protected – they should have to chip in. Whenever Fargo wants something they want others to pay for, they use the whole ‘Fargo is soooo important’ line. It is time Fargo starts paying their fair share. WF taxed property owners for their diversion, why not Fargo?
Like or Dislike: 6 0
Rick and Tony….Cass County residents who don’t live in Fargo have been “sucking it up” for a long time already. Mostly all on their own. There are already rural contractors who do the work out in the rural areas, so the impact felt in the rural areas is when rural contractors are called into Fargo to help save Fargo. Not the other way around. We don’t have any doubt that Fargo is important, we have been hearing it forever. All people outside of Fargo want is for Fargo to solve Fargo’s problem WITHOUT dumping it onto others who have little or no means to solve it. During a flood, many residents in rural areas can’t get to Fargo anyway due to road closures, so shopping and working in Fargo is really an irrelevant point. If Fargoans are flooded, FEMA and the Red Cross will be there. When rural people are flooded, FEMA is nowheres to be found.
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