A measure is being circulated around that intends to abolish property taxes in the state of North Dakota. I think this is an absolutely horrible idea, and here’s why.
While I do agree that North Dakota’s property taxes are extremely high (Bismarck’s property taxes are about the same as most suburbs in Minneapolis), eliminating them entirely is not only reckless, but does not represent fairness, as is suggested by the measure. Put a cap on the tax rate, but don’t eliminate them altogether.
Typically, property taxes are the second largest source of local revenue (behind sales taxes), which means that, unless they are planning to significantly cut spending, they will have to make up for the revenue loss by some other means – most likely by increasing the sales tax.
This is nothing new. Mayor Warford had proposed a 1% sales tax increase last year, both to help fund the Civic Center expansion and reportedly lower property taxes.
I don’t understand how adding a tax to everyone to help the burden of property owners is more fair. A property owner has the choice to own property – and is able to obtain great benefits from doing so, financially and otherwise. Whereas, if they instead increase our sales tax, and/or other taxes, it affects everyone.
I guarantee you that renters will not see relief, as their rent will not go down if property taxes do, and yet they’d still have to pay the extra sales taxes, or whatever other means of making up the loss of local revenue.
The bill suggests that the loss of local revenue will be supplemented by state revenue, which also means that local government will lose control over spending, subject to the state’s decisions.
Considering all the benefits of owning property, and the fact that it is a choice to do so for those who are able, I do not think it is unreasonable to collect property taxes. This is just another example of rewarding the wealthy and punishing the poor.
Whether you own or rent, we are ALL paying property taxes, either directly or indirectly, and therefore a property tax is fair because everyone is paying them. What’s not fair is giving a tax relief to those fortunate enough to own property, who already gain extra benefits by owning, while those less fortunate see no relief whatsoever – and instead pay more taxes for the same services.
I am still paying property taxes through my rent, but where are my benefits from renting? I can’t claim any assets, or get tax relief for owning. Paying my rent on time won’t improve my credit score, but paying late can lower it. I can’t get a lower interest rate by applying for a loan because I have collateral to back it up. If property taxes decrease, my rent certainly won’t lower. Yet, I’ll be paying more for products and services, or have additional income tax withheld. How is that fair?
I can certainly understand the argument that taxing a certain group isn’t fair, but that isn’t the case in this matter since us renters are actually paying the taxes to, just not directly. You can’t tell me that ending a tax on property owners, and in turn making those who cannot own pay more is fair.
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