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Sharon E. Buhr, Valley City, N.D., Published December 16 2013

Letter: Gov. Dalrymple ignores women of North Dakota

On Dec. 3, Gov. Jack Dalrymple, by executive order, created a task force on property tax reform. Property taxes have been a valid concern to citizens in North Dakota. The office of the state tax commissioner has estimated that property taxes have been growing at an annual rate of 7.7 percent. We commend the governor for recognizing the problem and wanting to involve a cross-section of North Dakotans in arriving at a solution.

But when one looks at the task force makeup, it appears that the governor thinks that only men are capable of evaluating the problem. Out of nine appointees who represent homeowners, bankers, city councils, auditors, ag producers, city managers, legislators and business, only one is a woman.

Women make up 50 percent of our North Dakota population, and there are successful women in the majority of categories represented. Women pay taxes, although a typical full-time woman worker still makes only 77 cents for every dollar paid to the typical man.

In 1989, North Dakota established a statute regarding gender balance. It reads that appointments to boards, commissions, committees and councils by the state should be gender-balanced to the extent possible.

Are there no qualified women in North Dakota who pay property tax, are ag producers, are on the city council, own a business or are bankers?

We ask the governor, for all future appointments, to recognize the other 50 percent of his constituency – women.

This letter also was signed by 12 other Valley City residents.