Legislators Discuss Possible Impacts of Measure 2 | VideoJessica Roose | 5/1/2012
The legislators say a measure to get rid of property taxes could cost the state more than $812 million in 2012 alone.
"For the biennium of 2013 through 2015 the price tag would be $1.8 billion dollars for the two years," said Rep. David Drovdal (R-Arnegard).
Drovdal says coming up with that money will, in his opinion, require a special session.
"The reason is the subdivisions are doing their budget. They need to know they have the money available January 15th when the first payroll comes up."
If the measure passes, North Dakota would be the first state in the nation to eliminate property taxes.
But some legislators are concerned about what impacts that would have.
"Just to go back if there`s any type of a tax that`s based on the evaluation of property, that would no longer be in existance," said Rep. Al Carlson (R-Fargo).
When another committee discussed the measure`s potential impacts last month, they estimated the cost of a special session to be about $50,000 a day.
Some say the special session would be needed to divy up state funds to individual municipalities.
"So there would be no school buildings allowed unless they came to us and asked us if they could build schools?" Carlson asked.
"That was the interpretation we had because where would they have the money, where would they have the revenue to guarantee a bond. They would have to come and ask us for guaranteed revenue," Drovdal said.
Proponents of the measure have claimed that there are already funds available to temporarily offset the loss of property tax revenue.
The committee will send its report to the Secretary of State`s office, where it will eventually be posted online for anyone to view.