Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Secret Revolution in North Dakota

Charlene Nelson

North Dakota citizens may abolish property taxes, allowing them more control over government spending.  Nearly 30,000 signatures were collected to place the people's initiative on the ballot in June, 2012 that would constitutionally abolish all property taxes in North Dakota. 

This landmark measure supports property rights, small government and freedom advocates around the country. 

If the initiative is successful, North Dakota will be the first state to abolish all property taxes, both state and local, and will provide a model for the other states to do the same.  North Dakota may be the first state to kick off the property rights revolution!

Since 1978 the state legislature has amended, altered or "reformed" property tax 134 times.

This tells us that the tax cannot be fixed.

Legislation to abolish property tax was introduced in the 2009 legislative session.  The bill was defeated.  There was even an attempt to turn the bill into a study to investigate the issue and that even failed.

Since the initiative qualified for the ballot, several city and county groups have come out in opposition to the measure, in direct violation of state law.  The hysteria coming from government leaders include threats that this will be the end of public education, fire and police protection will be terminated, and there will be no more roads (remember that roads are funded through the gas tax).

If the measure passes, two very important issues will be addressed in order to pare down the size of government and spending: 

1. The initiative mandates that schools and local governments must be "fully and properly funded" before the state can address any other budgeting (like special interests).

2. The measure also states that all "legal obligations" must be funded.  Legal obligations are:
A.  Statutory -- the things that the state has directed local government to fund.
B.  Contractual obligations -- spending that the counties and cities have taken on through contracts   like bonds, special construction, etc.
After schools, local governments and legal obligations are funded and the real debate begins!  Does the city, county or state have the obligation to fund a museum or an art festival?  Most people would say 'no'.  Does that mean that the local government can't fund museums or art festivals?  This is an issue of real self rule and local control.  If the people really, truly feel they must have a museum or a new hockey rink, then they can vote themselves a new tax to fund it—a sales tax or user fee or special assessment or whatever.  They just can't fund it with property tax.

These two points will spark a whole new level of public discourse on the proper role of government and citizen involvement. 

In addition to forcing the state to prioritize spending, it will also compel them to scrutinize current and future spending, especially if they want to avoid increasing taxes. 

According to the Beacon Hill Institute study on EmpowerTheTaxpayer.blogspot.com, there is no need to increase taxes to “pay for” the missing property tax revenues.  By putting an extra $3000-4000 in each family's pocket, the state will enjoy an increase in sales and income tax revenues.  Businesses will invest more heavily in our local economy, while the need for some government employees will vanish.  The state's economy will improve without increasing any taxes.

The national mainstream media is not covering this story.  The NEA has pledged $4-5 million to fight passage of the measure -- this in a state where a Senate race costs less than $1 million.  They clearly see the national impact this measure will generate and want to stop it before any other states get any bright ideas. 

North Dakota is one of the cheapest places to run a campaign, so if we get good support not only will this measure pass in our state, but we will see it being promoted in other states as well. 

For more information, please visit our website: EmpowerTheTaxpayer.blogspot.com 

Full text of the measure can be found HERE 

Economic study of property tax abolition from Beacon Hill Institute can be found HERE (pdf) 

Recent TV interview that explains the basics of the topic is HERE  

Charlene Nelson has been a resident of North Dakota for 18 years.  She was the State Chairman of the Constitution party for eight years and led the petitioning to get three presidential candidates on the ballot in North Dakota.  In 2001 Charlene was the chairman of Protect Our Privacy, the citizen's group that successfully repealed SB2919.  This bill allowed banks to sell people's personal financial information and in repealing it, we saw a major victory for privacy protection.  In 2008, Charlene was the State Campaign manager for Ron Paul's presidential campaign.  Under her leadership, North Dakota was the first state to win double digit percentages for Ron Paul in the February caucus—winning 22% of the vote and tying for second place.  For the last three years, Charlene has been the State Coordinator for Campaign for Liberty.  Campaign for Liberty is a citizen activist group that educates people on political issues and effective activism.  It encourages people to change their country and restore freedom by taking a role in the political process.  Charlene believes in leading by example and has run for office.  She has been the  Municipal Judge for Casselton since 2009.


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Anonymous said...

If this passes, I'm moving to North Dakota! Thanks to property taxes, NO ONE in this country owns their land/home whatever.

Anonymous said...

30,000 is almost 5% of the states population, im sure a week in fargo and bismark could get that up to 10%, wooh!

Anonymous said...

Fu@k yeah! Good luck ND!

popsiclepeople said...

Nice trade off,freeze my ass off for freezing my taxes.I'll say ha ha from Baja.

Anonymous said...

Its like Poetry when its so obvious, isnt it.

If I where a citisen of ND I would probably go for founding librarys and so on, not just for my own sake, but I also know it wil bennefitt the rest.
And never forgett to take the future generations into consideration, we all want them to have a better start then what we wherer whitnesing or living thru.
When every citisen pays after its abilyty and means, no matter the size, you still can have a fully functional and healthy running local goverment and state.

Capitalism and sosialwellfare No contradictions at all.

I have sayed it before, the biggest fears and danger to our so caled finnace inst, in every cosivable way(like private banks, derivates, and so on), is the fact, that they are Not Needed. They are a fully created parasitt with just one funcktion, to encrease the cash flow, and all this instituts also gets their blodd and food form the same system)

Thats the Parasitt notion comes into live, the are the sole reason for this colaps, and nobody or anything else.

And dont underestemate the impact of #OWS because they alone have made people realise that, alternatives are there.
Infact there is a lot opf them.

Rube Out said...

State Bank is why.
Why is a State Bank relevant?
No interest payments to the money junkies.
Total threat to the Federal Reserve system.
End the Fed.
Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

Isn't N.D. the State that has its' own central bank which is tasked with taking taxpayer deposits and loaning them out at interest to taxpayers for the purpose of starting or growing small businesses? What an amazing idea, allowing the people who work for a living to use their money to create jobs.

Anonymous said...

A back to basics idea. Let the states govern
themselves. The Fed gov has outlived its

Anonymous said...

God bless North Dakota!

When California goes bankrupt and chaos ensues
I know where I'm heading. Yeah, its cold but at least they don't need the FED!

Bruce Hayden said...

North Dakota is the new leader of the revolution!
The two wannabees, Texas and Montana, now have a model to follow. Start with the main problem (the bankers) and all else will follow. Congrats Nodaks!

Karen said...

Arkansas has the Homestead Exemption, where taxes are very low if you live on the property, and your property taxes are frozen at age 65. However, I believe you have to know about it and request the exemption. We did this when we lived there and owned property. Arkansas is also in pretty good shape financially. So it can be done.

Raymond said...


Anonymous said...

From someone in Britain.....good luck North Dakota with your campaign. Go give the authorities hell and I hope you win.

Anonymous said...

This is reverse austerity. What is that? Well, instead of the People Who Had The Money, going without what they need....the politicians who, legislated their money away, can't do that anymore!

The people with the money ALWAYS call the shots! The Public is where the money is generated from.
The politicians need to ask for money to run things, not simply take!

The equation is like this:

People = Money
Money = Power
Politician = Liar
Liar Steals Money = Poor People
Politician + Money = Power
Power + Money = Stupidity
Stupidity = Politician

Anonymous said...

"By putting an extra $3000-4000 in each family's pocket, the state will enjoy an increase in sales and income tax revenues. Businesses will invest more heavily in our local economy, while the need for some government employees will vanish. The state's economy will improve without increasing any taxes."

None of the above "will" happen. It may happen in some or many cases, but it is not a given that it will be universal. History has shown that tax "breaks" for businesses seldom end up anywhere but in the pockets of the business owners.

Having said that, no property taxes will likely mean some people and businesses from East Grand Forks and Moorhead will move to ND.

Anonymous said...

Negating property taxes is a popular theme but doing so would create a host of other problems. Consider where those property taxes go now and then consider the economic effects of not having those taxes, how do you propose to maintain the infrastructure of a state without those taxes?

Fair taxation is not a bad thing, it's needed to support a large society in order to keep it healthy and prospering, when you start removing the very thing that insures that then you are only hurting not only yourself but the majority of that society in the process, that's why careful thought and sound reason must be given on any action that can and will affect the states population overall.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of the school parasites too. China can brainwash, educate,healthcare,and manufacture, for 99% of the population for 10 cents on our
Dollar.What could We ever teach our children to overcome that disparity. Make them all gods!Follow The money Find the Chosen again and again it Never Ends.

Anonymous said...

Is our society healthy and prospering? I guess I was distracted by the Depression.

I see no reason why government officials who keep insisting we tighten our belts can't tighten their own.

Taxation of property is theft. Government was given the privilege of taxing commerce to maintain the infrastructure of the state (or Fed). If your right to own property is violated by taxes then you're just a slave (or in involuntary servitude, if the word slave offends).

There wouldn't be much loss because they can tax mortgages (a commercial transaction). This would encourage individuals to pay off their mortgages which decreases debt. Win/win.

Anonymous said...

Property taxes are in direct colusion with freedom........
"Country of the brave and FREE"....realy ????
I dont think so.
Same for Canada........property taxes are unconstitutonal....period

Anonymous said...

If property tax is done away with what do you think the State is going to replace that tax revenue with,.. i.e. more taxes, higher taxes, that's what.

I guarantee you that no one in the State Government would be advocating the removal of property taxes without having countermeasure taxes or tax hikes set in place to offset the loss of that property tax revenue.

States just do not give up a large percentage of tax revenue when their accustom to receiving it and the days of paying property taxes on a voluntary basis are a thing of the long past.

That said, I moved from a state where the property taxes where getting outrageous to a state where they are reasonable but I'm not so deluded that I believe that we can return to a time where we had a small population and a need to support little infrastructure and for those who think that a State can function on Commerce taxes only I would ask, how much do you think a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk would cost if property taxes where done away with?

The lessons that are not learned are those that end up costing the middle class the most, you can be sure that if a State looses revenue in one area that they can and will make up for it in other areas, which usually equates to in-state higher taxes on goods and services which hit the population much harder than if they just had to deal with paying a property tax.

When push comes to shove there are no easy answers, it takes a lot of hours and hard work to create a workable State budget to maintain a State for a fiscal year and tons of money, if you don't think so try sitting in on a few of your State Budget Committee herrings, from some of the comments I see here you could use the education as States don't run themselves,especially States with large populations,.. In reality, Freedom isn't free, it cost a lot of money these days and that's just the facts Jack.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Property taxes are in direct colusion with freedom........
"Country of the brave and FREE"....realy ????
I dont think so.
Same for Canada........property taxes are unconstitutonal....period

"colusion,realy,unconstitutonal",... Really, can't you at least use spell check to cover up your ignorance?

"Property taxes are in direct colusion with freedom."

Please explain to me why you think property taxes and freedom are creating some conspiracy, I can't wait !

Anonymous said...

I think the only time levying property taxes is legitimate is when the property owner is renting out the property to a tenant. The landlord should be then be required to pay a small percentage of profit earned from charging rent. This would be after the landlord has deducted expenses for maintaining the property, so as to avoid the situation of the landlord passing on the cost of paying the tax to the tenant.

Property taxes should not be levied on people who live in the properties they own.

Anonymous said...

Arise ye serfs and tenant farmers!

Anonymous said...

Deja-vu all over again.

In 1978 there was an initiative on the California State ballot to LOWER property taxes -- Prop 13. The politico's tore their hair and predicted the same things that North Dakota politico's are predicting:

"The hysteria coming from government leaders include threats that this will be the end of public education, fire and police protection will be terminated, ..."

Califnordia politicians also predicted/ threatened to close libraries, and lay off 100,000 government workers.

Well, Prop 13 passed, and two years later there were an estimated 200,000 new jobs created in the productive sector -- because people had more money in their pockets -- and the income taxes all those new jobs generated allowed the various governments within the State to hire another 50,000 government workers.

Not that more government workers should have been hired, but you get my drift: If more government workers had NOT been hired, taxes could have been lowered even more, which in turn would have generated even more jobs.

Snowball effect.

Anonymous said...

Property taxes are like having your neck in a noose. You never own your home because it can be taken away and sold at auction for non payment of ad valorem taxes. It is the force of law that allows politicians at all levels to take from those that earn and give it to whomever they wish. Thereby destroying the incentive to earn and undermining the idea of freedom and liberty. In Denton county Texas my taxes keep going up. I protested and went before the Appraisal Review Board. They acted like they were doing me a favor to reduce my taxes, even though it was obvious my taxes were too high based on like properties that were paying less. The people sitting on the Appraisal Review Board were being paid $175 a day. For what? Their services would not even be necessary if it weren't for the county appraiser trying to maintain a revenue stream for the county even if it was derived by overcharging homeowners. It is all a scam and everyone at the appraisal district knows it. The appraisal district knows most people will not or can not get off of work to protest their taxes, so the county gets away with ripping off homeowners year after year. The school district and the city also benefit from the inflated appraisal process.

Clair Schwan said...

This is something I'm excited to see. It's about time that we stand up to government taxing our property. It's a disincentive to buy large, invest in the community, improve our property and maintain it. What larger burden do I impose on government because of the value of what I own? It's simply a penalty on success, and that's a penalty on hard work.

Anonymous said...

The point of dropping property taxes is to make the citizens more aware of the costs that government brings. Property tax is just another hidden tax. Doing away with it means that the tax revenue is going to have to be allocated across the whole populace. Ifmyoumwant schools, have a school tax. If you want libraries, have a library tax. The political class is opposed to this because they are loath to have the populace realize how much they are taxes and for what they are taxed. They love to keep mushrooming the population. Putting a little light on the amount of money you spend in taxes leads to uncomfortable questions like: why am I paying tax for that? If every single citizen had to write check for their taxes out of their own pocket, vs. an automated taxation via payroll and Mortage escrow, lights would come on and people would demand a more efficient government. Liberty begins with knowledge. Government desires ignorance so it can continue its chosen path without resistance.

Anonymous said...

Property tax is unfair for several reasons. In my community of fargo north dakota new home builders and buyers enjoy a 5 year tax exemption on new homes. People that own property in older areas pay more property tax to make up for the exemptions. Meanwhile city leaders look to expand infastructure like a 10 million dollar Davies high school built without a vote paid for with property taxes. The school was not needed. Leaders and city planners constantly look to expand the city by using the 5 year property tax exemption to spur investment all to the new areas. Meanwhile there is no incentives to invest in older areas because if you do the assesors will raise your property tax.
I would encourage all to vote to abolish the property tax.

Steven Lawrence said...

Oh, Sweet North Dakota, get ready for the success story of the century if this passes, as I hope against hope it does. The world is watching, not just the nation.

If you actually do protect the right of home and land ownership - real unencumbered property rights - the sucking sound of good economic activity into ND will be epic.

Owners being actual owners and not perpetual renters with equally perpetual mortgage payments, with people in constant danger of losing their property -- what a concept.

Anonymous said...

Why can't we have this happen in a warmer state. No Offense to my fellow country men and women in ND but its soooooo cold there!

Anonymous said...

We already pay tax on our incomes, then we must pay all these other taxes, too. Here's a list:


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