• Brass-Tacks
  • Tax "Relief" - SB 2066 and HB 1158

    Tax "Relief" - SB 2066 and HB 1158

    We’ve been talking themes for the session – which include childcare, workforce, select social issues, but one of the most widely impactful issues is tax relief. GNDC has been closely watching and engaging where appropriate on the package that is being worked forward.

    The major components in this package are income tax, property tax, homestead tax and the tax relief that comes forward will be a combination of these. Each chamber and legislator has their ideal combo in mind. Per our policy positions, GNDC supports fair, equitable, and consistent taxation as it provides certainty toward investment. We further believe that sound tax policy understands the relationship between taxation and tax relief.

    Now here’s where things get real. The current versions of SB 2066 and HB 1158 target a significant class of business property inequitably. These two bills take aim at centrally assessed properties, taxing them a higher rate than other commercial properties. Those impacted, not invited to the same party include our largest providers services, which we rely on, utilities, railroads, pipelines, air service, and transmission line property taxes.

    Instead of relief, which the other companies in the state would see, these organizations that support and select ND will see tax increases. This disparity could be as much as 225% in select areas. We expect the increase will create a shift to users – passing additional costs to consumers that rely on services to conduct business or reside in our state. What type of message does that send to these companies and what does that mean for our citizens or even future investors looking for business climates to engage in. GNDC is concerned that they forgot to put air quotes around “relief” specific to these bills.
    This approach isn’t the smart, fair policy that our North Dakota businesses need. This isn’t the message we want to send either, is it?
    Danette Welsh - ONEOK
    "We recognize and appreciate the importance of tax relief and the efforts by the legislature to make that happen. However, fair and equitable tax relief to all taxpayers, including centrally assessed, is critical to successful long-term tax policy. Fundamentally, it sends the message that North Dakota is open for business investments and growth. Sound tax policy is important to companies like ONEOK which have invested billions to build infrastructure supporting North Dakota’s economy through its energy industry.” 

    Jeremy Rham - Otter Tail Power Company
    "The adjustment to centrally assessed property will increase property taxes on utility property and ultimately yield higher costs for electric consumers. From Otter Tail Power Company’s perspective, there are no winners with this type of equity."