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ND property tax abolition backers speak up

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Supporters of a proposal to abolish property taxes say it could help spark a new burst of business expansion in North Dakota.

A constitutional amendment to get rid of property taxes will be on North Dakota's ballot in June 2012. If it is approved, the Legislature will have to figure out how to provide replacement money for local government services.

Charlene Nelson of Casselton is chairman of the initiative campaign. She says the measure will help North Dakotans avoid being priced out of their homes by high property taxes. Initiative supporter Robert Hale of Minot says it would make North Dakota more attractive to business.

Nelson and Hale spoke Wednesday at a legislative hearing on the proposal.

North Dakota local governments levied about $734 million in property taxes last year.

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