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Letter to the editor: Perhaps it’s time to elect ‘new guys’ to solve problems

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opinion Jamestown, 58401
Jamestown North Dakota 121 3rd St NW 58401

By Sen. George Sinner, Fargo

It’s ironic that a Republican governor has commissioned a task force to look into a broken property tax system that his own party cannot seem to fix.

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The Republicans have no excuse. They have supermajorities in the House and Senate. They killed nearly every sensible property tax relief proposals during the 63rd Legislative Assembly, including SB 2290, which would have provided across-the-board property tax relief for all homeowners, landowners and renters, plus they killed SB 2371, which would have provided relief from burdensome special assessments.

House Majority Leader Al Carlson is not enthusiastic about Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s task force. As Carlson put it: “It’s duplicative. I am not sure why he’s doing it, but you know, he (Dalrymple) has that prerogative.” But Carlson did express the supermajority’s real objective: “And if there’s going to be guys at the table, we’ll make sure our guy’s at the table.”

“Our guys” obviously means Republican legislators. The same guys who are incapable of putting together a collaborative group to come up with a solution to this or any other real problem including providing adequate funding for communities throughout this state. Seriously, would Dalrymple be appointing a task force if his own party would have fixed this problem?

The Republicans have controlled the Legislature and the governor’s office for the last 20 years. They’ve now done away with bipartisan leadership on interim legislative committees. “Our guys” have gotten us into this fine mess. Maybe it’s time to elect some “new guys” who will end one-party arrogance, restore balance and bring back common sense to state policymaking.

(Sinner, a Democrat, represents District 46 in the North Dakota Legislature)

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