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Associated Press, Published May 10 2013

ND high court hears appeal related to failed property tax measure

BISMARCK — North Dakota Supreme Court justices are deciding whether supporters of a failed campaign to abolish North Dakota property taxes should have to apologize and pay legal fees of some public officials they sued.

The group Empower the Taxpayer says those orders by a state district judge are punitive. The group has appealed to the state Supreme Court, which heard arguments in the case on Thursday.

The property tax critics last year sued several public officials, claiming they deliberately exaggerated the impact of a ballot measure that sought to abolish property taxes. The measure was defeated at the polls.

South Central District Judge Bruce Romanick dismissed the group's lawsuit as frivolous, and ordered the group to publish an apology in newspapers and pay almost $26,000 in legal fees.

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