Ralph Muecke, Gladstone, N.D., Published June 21 2013
Letter: Ready for another Measure 2 driveWell, well, well! The 2013 North Dakota Legislature promised up and down, high and low, that it was going to reform property tax. Surprise, surprise. Nothing happened. Did you really expect it to? Legislators proved what we said repeatedly during the Measure 2 campaign: It can’t be fixed. They knew it and had no intention of fixing it. They just went through the motions. They have tried many times to make it look like they were fixing this sacred cow, with the end result enabling local governments to spend even more. Instead, they lowered state income taxes and oil taxes, avoiding the real issue.
Property taxes have been so abused that when valuations are raised, mill levies are never lowered, which promotes irresponsible budgeting and spending by local governments, which encourages even more irresponsible budgeting and spending. They may drop a few mills, which is a slap in the face to the taxpayer. What other tax penalizes you for trying to improve your property? It’s broken. It’s corrupt. It’s unfair. It’s unfixable. They know it, and it needs to be abolished.
People are ready to work for another Measure 2 to abolish property taxes. They have been hit with astronomical valuation increases, and mill levies have not been dropped, so they will face even more increases. Local government waited until Measure 2 got voted down and then socked it to us between the eyes. The people are boiling mad. And this time the measure will pass in spite of the lies the opposition will try to put forth.
I’m ready to start collecting signatures. How about you? Let’s abolish this evil monster once and for all.