Legislators Debate Over Taxes | VideoJessica Roose | 2/21/2013
Democrats say they got the message. North Dakotans want property tax relief.
"We all know that Measure 2 was clearly a directive to reduce property tax," said Representative Kenton Onstad (D) from Parshall.
They say the issue hasn`t been the main focus for members on the other side of the aisle.
"Unfortunately the committee has heard less than a handful of proposals that would offer relief to homeowners. And the ones that we have heard, such as legislative management`s House Bill 1044 that would offer true property tax relief to North Dakota families, are killed without even a second thought," said Representative Jessica Haak (D) from Jamestown.
Instead they say Republicans are supporting cuts to oil extraction taxes and permanent corporate income taxes.
"The point is that the jaw dropping majority of these corporate income tax cuts will go to out of state corporations headquartering in places like Bentonville, Arkansas. We believe very firmly that the relief should go to people in places in Bismarck and Buffalo, North Dakota," said Senator Mac Schneider (D) from Grand Forks.
The Vice Chairman of the House Finance and Taxation committee, Representative Craig Headland (R) from Montpelier, says providing cuts to those companies helps secure jobs in the state.
"Reducing tax burden on any business helps provide for further investment and economic growth of that business and that`s how you create jobs. It`s working."
He says that hasn`t taken the focus away from providing property tax relief this session.
"The House of Representatives, through our tax committee, we have provided and passed down to appropriations more than $700 million in property tax relief that will go directly to property taxpayers."
He says the total tax relief package in the House, which also includes income taxes, will total over a billion dollars.
Lawmakers have just about a week left to finalize and vote on the bills before crossover.