Reflecting on a tax meeting

A meeting about taxes…sounds like fun, huh? I thought it was going to be. In fact, I fully expected to learn a little, have some questions answered, and walk away with new insight, new information and a new attitude. I was wrong.

As I mentioned before, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be in favor of the state of North Dakota doing away with property taxes. I wasn’t convinced that Measure 2 (as it’s called) was the answer we were all looking for, when trying to consider relief for tax payers. And now I’m most certain of it.

So what happened? To tell you the truth, not much. And that was the main problem. Instead of answering questions, there was a lot of double-speak, dancing around the issue and turning the blame to the legislature. To top it all off, they cut off the conversation after an hour-and-a-half. That included introductions, each side giving their case and a wrap-up. Definitely not enough time to truly discuss the issue.

But the final comment summed it all up (let me paraphrase it for you): So, the legislature is our problem, and the solution is to give them full control?

Doesn’t sound any better today than it did a week ago.

The nail in the coffin for me? Something that wasn’t even brought up at the meeting: let’s say that this measure is passed. Let’s say that after six months or so, we realize that it’s a terrible mistake and it’s costing our state way more than we expected. Can we change it the next go round? No. According to Article III, section 8 of our current state consitution, “a measure approved by the electors may not be repealed or amended by the legislative assembly for seven years from its effective date, except by a two-thirds vote of the members elected to each house.”


We want real change? Elect people not afraid to make real change. Don’t go throwing out everything we have in exchange for promises that are made without a plan in place.

Our state is on a solid footing economically. And in today’s economy, it seems to be a world-class mistake to jeopardize that.