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Doyle Johannes, Underwood, N.D., Published January 30 2014

Letter: Forum discounts ND taxpayers

Let’s see if I understand this correctly. The Forum thinks that challenging the status quo property tax system – a system that makes it exceedingly easy for pot takers to take more and more of the taxpayers’ money – is “nut fringe.” (“Proposed measures insult ND,” Jan. 21.)

Was anyone from The Forum at the delegate session at North Dakota Farm Bureau’s annual meeting? If you had bothered to be there, you wouldn’t have been able to write a blatant misstatement about whether or not we are representing our members. The people who met, discussed and voted on this language are property taxpayers; you know, those people The Forum has chosen to abandon with their rhetoric.

The problem as I see it is that no one wants to be accountable. The Legislature continues to throw money at political subdivisions in the form of “property tax relief.” The political subdivisions gobble up most of, if not all, the relief and raise their budgets (Cass County’s grew by 16 percent this year). Taxpayers? Well, they receive a bone (if those who are spending our money allow it) and are told to lie down and be good.

I’m surprised that The Forum has chosen to champion the system rather than champion our people and their readers – the taxpayers.

Pot takers have all kinds of help making sure they keep their hands deep in our pockets. Farm Bureau is the only group that is exploring reasonable avenues to reforming a tax system that is convoluted and archaic. Our members are tired of this unworkable system that continues to produce an encumbrance that will soon out-run our ability to service it. They indicated that loud and clear through the policy they passed at the NDFB annual meeting.

And you would have known that, if you had even bothered to ask.

Johannes is N.D. Farm Bureau president.