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Published October 16, 2012, 05:10 PM

Is eliminating state sales tax on clothing a good idea?

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- With a more than one-and-a-half-billion-dollar surplus, it might seem like a no-brainer. But is it the kind of tax-relief North Dakota wants?

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- With a more than one-and-a-half-billion-dollar surplus, it might seem like a no-brainer. But is it the kind of tax-relief North Dakota wants?

Brad Schlossman/West Acres Mall CEO: "In the long run, it would pay a lot of dividends."

Officials at West Acres say regardless of party-lines, this is an idea they have always and will always support.

Brad Schlossman: "Right now they see this as the retail center, but if at some point they decided Minnesota should be the retail center, all of a sudden, we got a problem on our hand."

CEO of West Acres Mall, Brad Schlossman, says the short term effects of such a proposal would likely be minimal, but long term effects could be major as retailers decide which side of the river to build on.

Schlossman: "North Dakota is a very good state to business, but this one issue is still hanging out there that gives a competitive edge to Minnesota."

Democratic legislative hopefuls say it could result in about $30 million in savings for North Dakota shoppers. And those across the isle say its an idea that could receive bipartisan support.

Jim Kasper/Fargo republican rep.: "It's nice to hear democrats talk about tax reduction. The fact of the matter is anything we can do to help our retailers on both borders, I think we should look at."

While Fargo republican Representative Jim Kasper says bipartisan support is possible for this kind of legislation, he says the kind of tax relief most North Dakotans want is on a much bigger scale.

Kasper: "The citizens of North Dakota spoke loudly and clearly on Measure 2 even though it was defeated, but the people of North Dakota want property tax changes."

Property tax relief, sales tax relief, income tax relief; they've all been thrown on the table prior to Novembers election. One thing seems for certain, North Dakota voters are poised to have more money in their pocket after the 2013 legislative session.

The local portion of sales tax currently in Fargo is 2-percent and will increase to 2-point-5-percent this January.

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