Letter to the editor: Meeting on Measure 2 didn’t help those seeking answersA meeting about taxes — sounds like fun, right? That’s what I thought when I attended a meeting April 17 in Ellendale, N.D., to discuss Measure 2 that featured the measure’s supporters and opponents.
By: Val Wagner, The Jamestown Sun
A meeting about taxes — sounds like fun, right?
That’s what I thought when I attended a meeting April 17 in Ellendale, N.D., to discuss Measure 2 that featured the measure’s supporters and opponents.
In fact, I fully expected to learn a little, have some questions answered, and walk away with new insight, new information and a new attitude. I was wrong.
I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be in favor of the state of North Dakota doing away with property taxes. I wasn’t convinced that Measure 2 was the answer we were all looking for, when trying to consider relief for taxpayers. And now I’m most certain of it.
So what happened? To tell you the truth, not much. And that was the main problem. Instead of answering questions, there was a lot of double-speak, dancing around the issue and turning the blame to the Legislature. To top it all off, they cut off the conversation after 1 1/2 hours. That included introductions, each side giving their case and a wrap-up. Definitely not enough time to truly discuss the issue.
But the final comment summed it all up (let me paraphrase it): So, the Legislature is our problem, and the solution is to give them full control of all our budgets.
Doesn’t sound any better today than it did a week ago.
The final nail in the coffin for me was something that wasn’t even brought up at the meeting. Let’s say that this measure is passed. Let’s say that after six months or so, we realize that it’s a terrible mistake. Can we change it right away? Maybe, maybe not.
According to Article III, Section 8 of our state constitution, “a measure approved by the electors may not be repealed or amended by the legislative assembly for seven years from its effective date, except by a two-thirds vote of the members elected to each house.”
Article IV, Section 16 in the same document states, “any amendment to this constitution may be proposed in either house of the legislative assembly, and if agreed to upon a roll call by a majority of the members elected to each house, must be submitted to the electors and if a majority of the votes cast thereon are in the affirmative, the amendment is a part of this constitution.”
Either way, it will not be a quick fix.
We want real change? Elect people not afraid to make real change. Don’t go throwing out everything we have in exchange for promises that are made without a plan in place.
Our state is on a solid footing economically. And in today’s economy, it seems to be a world-class mistake to jeopardize that.