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Property tax cap proposal defeated in North Dakota Senate

BISMARCK — North Dakota senators rejected a proposal Wednesday, April 12 that would have allowed voters to seek a cap on property tax increases.

House Bill 1361, introduced by House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, would have allowed voters to limit property tax increases to 3 percent over what was levied in dollars the previous year. The cap could have applied to park districts, cities and counties.

North Dakota senators divided the bill and ultimately defeated the cap provision in a 5-42 vote. Opponents said it's not the Legislature's place to regulate property tax rates and argued communities need flexibility to address natural disasters and population growth.

"I really believe in local control," said Sen. Lonnie Laffen, R-Grand Forks. "These are decisions that need to be made by the governing bodies in those communities."

Sen. Dwight Cook, R-Mandan, said local control ultimately rests with the electors. He predicted the cap would be used "very sparingly."

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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