Rampant inflation is increasing the cost of living for all North Dakotans, and as candidates prepare for the June primary they know that the economy is front and center for the voters.

Roscoe Streyle, a Republican candidate for House in District 3, has announced a plan to cut 50% of residential property taxes for all homeowners in North Dakota.

The goal is to take some financial burden off of North Dakotans’ backs by using the state’s excess surplus.

It’s a $500 million plan for the upcoming two-year biennium budget.

Streyle, who used to sit on the House Appropriations Committee, says it’s a realistic plan that the state could afford. There’s $200 million in the tax relief fund and $205 million in Strategic Investment Improvements Fund and then the budget surplus through the general fund is $332 million. Streyle says that if you add the oil tax revenue to those funds, the state of North Dakota is sitting on over a billion in budget surplus and growing by the month.

“Soybeans are $17-18. Wheat is $10+. Oil $111 today. All of that is North Dakota’s breadbasket and fuels the world. Coal is at high, all-time highs. Natural gas is at all-time highs, so all of this benefits the state budget because we are rich in those,” explained Streyle.

Streyle says in a previous session, legislators were able to pass a 12% tax cut across all property classes, and his plan would use the same mechanism.

“The counties are already set up, and able to do this. There would be no investment needed as far as technology or infrastructure for the counties to do this. This is simply a report on how much residential property tax is collected in your county. The state of North Dakota fills 50% percent of that,” said Streyle.

High inflation is driving commodity prices and that is great for the State’s coffers. Streyle says the total gross revenue for oil alone in April was $239 million, and the general fund surplus was $128 million above budget.

“I’m projecting this budget surplus when the biennium is done on June 30th of next year, there will be well over $2 billion in surplus. So, to me, it’s not unreasonable for the state of North Dakota to give back some of the taxpayers’ money,” Streyle said.

Streyle’s opponents for the two open District 3 House Seats, Reps. Jeff Hoverson and Lori VanWinkle, all agree the plan is a step in the right direction — but they want to go further to eliminate all home property taxes.

“A dollar circulates about seven times per year, so that means you tax that dollar seven times, so that automatically just by lowering the tax you will replenish that revenue by about 50% just from that reality. The other thing we have to look at is the state government, like the federal government, we have to look seriously at the size of our government,” said Hoverson.

“Just from understanding being a real estate agent, I kinda brought that in as seeing, number one the amount of government control. I do believe that families need to be able to own their houses, so that they shouldn’t be able to lose, that they have spent their hard-earned time and money attaining that only to at the end if they fall on hard times that it can be taken away from them,” said VanWinkle.

Hoverson and VanWinkle are part of a group that plans to put a “no property tax” measure on the 2024 ballot.

Streyle highlighted data points in the General Fund Report April 2022, Oil Revenue Report April 2022 and Tax debt 2020 property tax summary sheet.

The following document is a projection of the tax cuts for randomly selected addresses in Bismarck: