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Lawmakers ponder N.D. property tax reduction options

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- North Dakota lawmakers are pondering the best way to extend property tax breaks to local taxpayers.

One option is to give property owners a state income tax credit. Another is to provide extra money to schools, as long as they use it to cut property tax rates.

The Legislature has tried both methods in the past four years, and the Legislature's interim Taxation Committee is considering the question again.

North Dakota Tax Department analyst Kathryn Strombeck said Tuesday that giving the money to local schools for property tax cuts is easier to administer. But it is the more expensive option.

Giving money to schools for property tax cuts would cost about $340 million over two years. Providing two years' worth of income tax credits would cost about $280 million.