BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — As part of the upcoming special legislative session, Governor Doug Burgum is asking lawmakers to reconsider a proposal to utilize part of the state’s excess treasury from the previous biennium for income tax relief.

The Governor called the session to address the 2023-2025 bill of appropriations for the State Office of Management and Budget (OMB) — which featured a request to put forward $91 million dollars in tax relief, supported by excess revenue from the 2021-2023 budget. The state Supreme Court issued their opinion on the bill on September 28, which voided their proposal on the note that it violated the state constitution’s single-subject rule.

According to a press release from the Office of the Governor, this proposed income tax relief would raise the threshold for the bottom tax bracket (from $44,725 to $60,000 for single households, and $74,570 to $100,000 for married couples) — which would move 50,000 North Dakotans into it, thus eliminating their income tax. This, the release states, would also help the state recruit and retain workers.

“We applaud Majority Leaders Lefor and Hogue, as well as two other members of the
committee, for supporting the tax relief and putting the interests of citizens above bureaucratic
processes,” Burgum states in the release. “When government collects more tax revenue than it needs, our first option should always be to return money to the taxpayers. This proposed tax relief would allow North Dakota workers and homeowners to keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets so they can invest it in their families, their communities and themselves. While we appreciate the desire to limit this special session to those items voided by the Supreme Court, we’re shocked and disappointed that Legislative Management failed to forward tax relief and some other common-sense proposals for the full Legislature to consider, missing a golden
opportunity to ease the burden on taxpayers at a time when high inflation is still choking
Americans. When state revenues far exceed expectations, tax relief should always be on the
table, and we urge the Legislature to reconsider this proposal.”

Governor Burgum will begin the special legislative session by delivering the annual State of the State Address at 9:15 a.m. on Monday, October 23, in the House chamber.