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Legislature shouldn’t have given away money

Everybody has received the real estate tax Christmas greetings from the county auditor. In addition to unfunded legislative mandates burdening real estate taxes, the Republican majority has sprung other expenses and loss of service on us.

With the extra mandate of Social Services of $257,039 is Marcy’s Law. Voters agreed to the initiative. It is a constitutional change, the state’s responsibility. The legislative majority required counties to pay for a substantial amount.

The Legislature closed highway shops all across North Dakota including two in Stutsman County. Legislators ignored upset people who testified against because of concern for safety of school bus children, people driving to jobs and medical emergencies. Undoubtedly, plows will be delayed removing snow from roads far from existing state shops.

The North Dakota State University director of extension stated in the Union Farmer the legislative majority cut $4.1 million from extension, losing 20 fulltime people … its strength. Eighty percent of the budget goes toward people like 4-H families. To join, 4-H’ers will now be forced to pay $20 per member in 2018. Shame on you, legislators.

Senate Bill 2024 depleted and eliminated BreathND. It had been proven to help prevent youth from smoking. Shamefully, the legislative majority overturned a 2008 initiative passed by the voters.

Recently, the state is $1 million short of paying a court judgment to a contractor for the Heritage Center expansion. The attorney for the construction firm was flabbergasted because the state said, “We don’t have to pay because we don’t have the money.”

Where did all the money go? The 2015 Legislature gave the money away!

Remember? The decrease in the oil extraction tax from a 6.5 to 5 percent, coupled with a decrease in corporate and personal income tax, has cost the state $13 million per month since the 2015 legislative session. They passed it In the waning days of the session with no hearings or public input. It was done in secret. That amount, a one-time harvest of oil money, is gone and the oil companies didn’t even ask for it.

Remember? This tax was passed by initiated measure of North Dakotans in 1980. The will of the voters of North Dakota was ignored by the Republican majority.

By the way, over 80 percent of the corporate income tax cut went to out-ofstate corporations resulting in a drop of state revenue from $187 million in 2013 to approximately $68.3 million in 2017.

So, the 2015 and 2017 majority overturned the will of the people of North Dakota, handed counties unfunded mandates, put safety at risk and won’t discourage youth from smoking. The ripple effect is widespread.

This year is an election year.