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William Broekemeier, Fargo, Published May 21 2012

Talk raises some taxing questions

I recently had a conversation with an older gentleman while waiting to board a flight. We discussed recent remodeling projects and home renovations. He casually mentioned how his kitchen pantry replacement turned into a full-scale kitchen renovation to the tune of about $19,000.

As the conversation proceeded, I realized he did not get a building permit for his project. No big deal; none of my business. I did the proper thing on my kitchen remodel.

But as the days went by, I started wondering if this nonpermit construction would be taxed appropriately? How often does the city, county or state assess properties? Will his remodel ever be taxed? How many other home improvements are done on the sly to avoid paying property taxes? Do I pay more in taxes because of another’s non-action of proper building permit procedures, hiding his remodel and therefore evading taxes?

I am still on the fence on Measure 2, as unfair as property taxes are. Do I vote “yes” or do I vote “no”? It’s a coin toss. Maybe it will fly.