The opposition to Measure 2 has appeared. Of course, it is the same folks we expected with a new set of clothes – they call themselves, “Keep it LOCAL North Dakota”. According to their press release they are
“A non-partisan coalition of concerned citizens, associations and businesses dedicated to preserving the right of local control over local services. The coalition is dedicated to defeating Measure 2, which would amend the state’s constitution by eliminating property taxes. Measure 2 is on the June primary elections ballot.”
Non-partisan? Maybe. But mostly government and government-interest groups. It is composed of the State Chamber of Commerce, Association of Counties and the League of Cities, all groups that function with YOUR tax money. SAB publishes the truth about these groups.
What exactly does “Keep it LOCAL” mean?
Let’s be frank. Measure 2 it has to do with only two things:
1. Being able to OWN your home – never again having to pay government rent as a condition of living in it.
2. Having control over the taxes you pay, not how they are collected but how they are spent.
“Keep it LOCAL” means one thing to Opponents of Measure 2 and quite another to Supporters of Measure 2!
*To the opponents it means you collect the tax and someone else tells you how to spend it.
*To the proponents it means you decide how your tax dollars are spent.
Proponents of Measure 2 ask: Would you rather have control over how and where your taxes are collected or how they’re spent?
>>Right now neither you nor your local governing bodies have control over how the property taxes you pay are collected or spent. Understanding this is as easy as 1, 2, 3…
1. The State of ND has a 27 page detailed schedule of what maximum mill rates and amounts may and may not be assessed – you have NO control. Read the Document for yourself.
2. If property taxes are locally controlled, why do we need a State Property Tax Department?
3. If property taxes are locally controlled why has the State Legislature changed property tax law at least 135 over the past 20 years?
>>Measure 2 abolishes property taxes AND requires the State to return the sales and income taxes you pay to your political subdivision. Your taxes come back to your local community to be spent as your local officials choose to spend them. That's the kind of local control that supporters of Measure 2 want to see.
Opponents of Measure 2 tell you: “Preserving the right of local control over local services” requires “defeating Measure 2”.
>> There is no local control over property taxes. The only thing “local” about property taxes right now is the property being taxed. What control do you have when the state tells you:
· What you can assess mills for,
· The maximum number of mills you can assess,
· The minimum number of mills you can assess,
· If you don’t assess as directed – the state will not revenue share with you.
>> What is revenue sharing? Believe it or not revenue sharing is when the state gives you back some of the sales tax, income tax, gas tax, license and registrations fees, you’ve already paid. It’s your money; however, right now the state treats it as if it belongs to the state. You only get some of it back IF you do what the state dictates.
>> Measure 2 dramatically changes this upside down relationship. This is why governmental entities fear Measure 2. First, it puts us in charge of our own money not the collection agent. Second, it makes it clear who is responsible for how our taxes are spent. This frightens local political bodies.
Measure 2 constitutionally directs local control over how our tax dollars are spent. How they are collected is irrelevant – how they are spent is everything.