The North Dakota House today voted to reduce or eliminate corporate and personal state income taxes by using Legacy Fund money to make up the difference.
House Bil 1530 eliminates the state income tax by repealing Chapter 57-38 of the North Dakota Century Code and creates new chapters that govern the use of Legacy Fund earnings to cover what would be lost through eliminating the state income tax.
The vote in favor of the bill was 61-31.
Several North Dakota Democrats took issue with the legislation.
The ranking member of the House Finance and Tax Committee, Rep. Alisa Mitskog of Wahpeton (D-25), said in a prepared statement the legislation only makes North Dakota more dependent on oil tax revenue.
“North Dakota has the most volatile revenue of all states, after Alaska,” Mitskog said. “North Dakota also has some of the lowest personal and corporate income taxes in the country. We need a balanced tax policy in North Dakota that does not harm critical programs and does not put a financial burden on future generations.”
House Minority Leader Rep. Josh Boschee of Fargo (D-44) echoed the concerns.
“We need to have a frank discussion on the direction we want to take tax policy in North Dakota,” Boschee said. “Income tax, property tax, and sales tax need to be balanced. Using the Legacy Fund to eliminate income taxes is not the answer. The voters enacted the Legacy Fund to provide for legacy projects, not to support a shell game that robs Peter to pay Paul.”