Money isn’t everything

Curtis L. Roberts, Bismarck

Throwing money at a problem does not necessarily solve the problem. Take property tax reform for example. I decided to compare my yearly real estate taxes; I chose four years within an eleven-year span: 2002 – $2,557.94; 2009 – $2,501.66; 2012 – $2,507.56 and 2013 – $2,297.71. The news media is claiming huge reductions in property taxes. That certainly is not the case in my neck of the woods.

It appears since our Legislature cannot or will not fix North Dakota’s property tax problem, Gov. Jack Dalrymple has formed a task force to study it. And study it they will I’m sure for years before they offer us another lame solution. Cynicism is easy for me when I consider the present North Dakota Legislature and governor.

The biggest part of our property tax is for education. If this part of our tax bill were eliminated, it would go a long way toward property tax reform. Now, I am aware that the state constitution requires the legislature and governor to provide for common school education. I am also aware that the funds are already available for that through the Common School Trust, which was established in 1889, and lately has been generating one-half billion dollars annually.

It is time. There are many of us watching and waiting for our Legislature and governor to get this reform accomplished.