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By Margaret Bitz, Published January 24 2009

Take a broader view of the surplus

We have a surplus of money. Some of this tax money should go back to the taxpayers. This often becomes a claim when there is more money than the budget called for in the past. Legislators in Bismarck are positioning themselves to give this money back during this session.

Should we not be taking a broader view of this surplus? Should we not be asking ourselves whether this isn’t a good time to be investing some of this surplus in building North Dakota? Wind farms are going up all over North Dakota and yet we don’t have the transmission lines it’ll take to transport the electricity from these wind farms to other parts of the country. One reason we don’t have these transmission lines is that they are expensive to build. When would be a better time to build them than now while we have the money?

Yes, it would be nice to get some money back, which I could personally spend. But would it not be better for me and all of North Dakota if the state flourishes because of the income of selling power to the rest of the United States?

If you agree with this reasoning, contact your legislators and ask them to invest the surplus in building transmission lines rather than giving individual and income tax breaks.

As a postscript, I agree that property taxes should be eliminated for the good of North Dakota.