House Kills K-12 Funding Bill Containing Property Tax Relief - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

House Kills K-12 Funding Bill Containing Property Tax Relief

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Bismarck, ND -

Instead of wrapping things up at the state Capitol, lawmakers stir things up by killing a major piece of legislation proposed by Governor Dalrymple.

Donnell Preskey has more on what's next for K-12 funding and property tax relief...

This is the last day for North Dakota lawmakers to get their work done. They are limited to 80 days, but there's no telling how "long" this day will go. Legislators still have about a dozen bills to act on and there was a major shake up in the house this morning. Representatives reconsidered and killed the K-12 funding bill. The debate wasn't over funding education, but rather using this bill as the vehicle to deliver property tax relief. By the state picking up a greater share of the cost of education, it would lower the amount needed from property taxes. The bill was a new method in delivering property tax relief. But many lawmakers say they don't believe it would provide the relief people demand.

Representative Al Carlson says, "The taxpayers are standing there saying, 'do something. Do something so I see it.' And I don't know that anything to have stops the runaway growth and assessed valuations.

"Funds education, provides property tax relief. We've worked on it all session. We've had public input all session. Where was the critics against this Bill this session. Again, where was your plan? Where was your plan before session? Where was your plan during the session? We wait 'til day 80 to come up with another plan? And that plan is the same thing we've been doing the last four years that the public doesn't like?, says Representative Mike Nathe.

So what's next? There is funding for K-12 education in the Department of Public Instruction budget which is still alive. As far as property taxes, Representative Wes Belter joins me now -- he's the expert on that issue -- to tell us what's the next step as far as that issue goes.

"Well the next is to carry through with another Bill that's out there that adds an additional 443 million dollars to the current planned property tax relief that I think will work very well. From my perspective, the Legislature has not received a lot of complaints the way our current education funding is handled and with the additional 443 million dollars that was put in by the House, I think the citizens of North Dakota would be well-served by that particular piece of Legislation."

How much of a rate reduction have they seen?

"Well I would say, it would probably equate to about 30 percent of what they pay in their school education bill. Now what taxpayers have to keep in mind that they have to watch what are their cities and counties doing with their tax levies."

Of course. Thank you very much, Wes.

By the way this is a historical day at the Capitol.

It is the first time the legislature has went the full 80 days.

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