GRASS NEWS  4:10 pm June 12, 2012

North Dakota Wants To Get Rid Of Property Taxes Because It Is Mostly Grass Anyway

by Liz Colville

FREE after 96 low monthly payments of $1,589

North Dakota is deciding today whether to eliminate property taxes altogether, which would make it the first state since brilliant Alaska in 1980 to eliminate a major source of funding for things that people actually need, like people who professionally put out fires and an education. Alaska eliminated income taxes, of all things, which probably helped ATV junkie Levi Johnston last a little longer in an eminent tax bracket than he otherwise would have. If North Dakota passes the legislation, it will have $800 million less to play with every year, but mo’ money, mo’ problems. Actually no, that isn’t even the philosophy behind the bill’s supporters: they apparently still think the government will find — or like, print? — that amount of money and give it to them. Can’t they do that?

According to USA Today:

Measure 2, as the proposal is called on the ballot, would require state government to make up for property tax revenue lost by local governments but doesn’t specify how.

Yes, put the power in the hands of the local governments, as pioneers like Rick Santorum wish. In fact, just form governments in your individual homes, North Dakotans! And generate revenue by selling lemonade to each other or crocheting Don’t Tread On Me onto pillows and selling them on Etsy.

Even Fox News mustered the generosity to say that if Measure 2 passed, it would “trigger a legislative scramble.” This concept is a holdover from the good old days of the Tea Party, and we should prepare for Tea Partiers to declare that see, their ideas totally work, why can’t every state just do this? Oh, maybe because North Dakota has tons of oil and money and people with jobs (the lowest unemployment rate in the country), and currently has a $1 billion surplus, and this was probably all because the Tea Party thought good thoughts on North Dakota’s behalf, so shut up and goodbye. [USA Today]

 
Related video

Hola wonkerados.

To improve site performance, we did a thing. It could be up to three minutes before your comment appears. DON'T KEEP RETRYING, OKAY?

Also, if you are a new commenter, your comment may never appear. This is probably because we hate you.

{ 127 comments }

nounverb911 June 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Now they can fire all the teachers, police and firemen just like Mitt's promised to do.

MittBorg June 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Mitt demands that you stop accusing him of saying what he said, immediately.

Baconzgood June 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm

"I didn't know the cameras were rolling"

BaldarTFlagass June 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm

"We begin bombing the poor in five minutes."

MittBorg June 12, 2012 at 4:40 pm

You think he'll actually *warn* us?

Negropolis June 13, 2012 at 1:09 am

He's running for president for pete's sake!

Butch_Wagstaff June 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Then he'll say that he didn't demand anyone to stop accusing him of saying what he did say.

OneDollarJuana June 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm

But he still stands by that demand that he didn't make.

MittBorg June 12, 2012 at 4:40 pm

You're saying he'll say that I've been saying he said what he said he didn't … never mind.

MosesInvests June 12, 2012 at 5:18 pm

He's running for president, for Pete's sake!

Generation[redacted] June 12, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I always said someone should run for President. So yeah I'll take a lot of credit for that.

Barb June 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm

It's sad about Levi Johnston being broke. I hear he is sleeping on the floor of his uncle's mattress factory.

Not_So_Much June 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm

In this analogy, is Bristol the uncle or the mattress?

Barb June 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm

She's the box spring.

bobbert June 12, 2012 at 10:50 pm

An image springs to mind.

nounverb911 June 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm

But who will pay for the border fence between ND and Canada?

SayItWithWookies June 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I think the Canadians will step up.

Negropolis June 13, 2012 at 1:11 am

Well, the Canadians are giving Michigan hundreds of millions of dollars for an extra river crossing between Windsor and Detroit (and we get to pay them back in future tolls), because the crazy Michigan senate has been blocking its construction for years. So, I wouldn't be surprised if they'd pay for a border fence to keep the rabble out.

Hedley_Lamarr June 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Arizona.

OneDollarJuana June 12, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I guess they figure they can get all of their operating funds out of their state bank (the only state bank in the US).

Preferred Customer June 12, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I think that Republican legislators are the ones that professionally put out an education, in the same way that firefighters put out fires. I don't think this proposal would eliminate funding for that, unfortunately.

actor212 June 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

RAY BRADBURY LIBEL!

MittBorg June 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Why not? It's not like they have much of a population to use these things that tax money might pay for anyway, right?

An_Outhouse June 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm

You can just raise taxes on the poor for being poor, call it a poor tax. Then raise the tobacco tax, impose a renters tax, and tax everybody for Sundays but refund it if you can show a note from your pastor that you attended a service.

BaldarTFlagass June 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Except for Native Americans, are there any poor people in ND? Are there any people at all, besides those clustered around Minot AFB?

Serolf_Divad June 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm

If there weren't any people in North Dakota, then who do you think's been molesting the livestock all this time? Think about it.

emmelemm June 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm

{thought about it}

Aliens?

Designer_Radio June 12, 2012 at 10:52 pm

When aliens do it, it's called probing. When gentlemen farmers do it, it's called "molesting". Can we do away with the double standards already?

Callyson June 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Seriously–the wingnuts on HuffyPo are still going on about how we should impose an income tax on the poors, even though they already pay payroll/sales/gasoline/etc. taxes, and don't pay an income tax because they are not paid enough by the greedy bastards who are bitching about "double taxation" of record – breaking corporate profits…

Christ, if I did not have to drive later I'd get my happy hour on already, though I am not sure there is enough alcohol in the world to make me happy at this point…

SexySmurf June 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I've been through North Dakota once.

nounverb911 June 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I've flown over it a couple o'hundred times.

An_Outhouse June 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm

were there Indians? glad you made it back okay.

Pop_Socket June 12, 2012 at 4:57 pm

I've been through North Dakota once but I still subscribe to the theory that it was invented by South Dakotans to make their state seem less boring.

bobbert June 12, 2012 at 10:52 pm

True fact: There are ND and SD instead of one big Dakota because Republicans insisted on two states so they'd have two more rural Senators.

Warwhatgoodfor June 12, 2012 at 7:27 pm

And yet you have not yet committed hari-kiri as an act of antonement. No guts, no glory.

BaldarTFlagass June 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm

These people are descended from people who were smart enough to settle in North Fucking Dakota. Does anything further need to be explained? Yeah, yeah, yeah, the wagon wheel broke, I get it.

Doktor Zoom June 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm

General Custer, the bad news is that we're surrounded by Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho, and there's no way in hell we'll make it out of here alive.

The good news is, we won't have to make camp in North Dakota again.

coolhandnuke June 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm

North Dakota is the land where people fleeing South Dakota for Canada ran out of gas and settled.

OneDollarJuana June 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm

The heartland of America, full of people living on essentially barren steppes who have confused quantity with quality.

smokefilledroommate June 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I had a legislative scramble for breakfast the other day.

Mumbletypeg June 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm

and law-makin' sausage/ with a side o' toast?

Generation[redacted] June 12, 2012 at 5:47 pm

I take mine with waffles.

new_pic_for_NEWTer June 12, 2012 at 6:41 pm

…from Denny`s right?

glasspusher June 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Pork?

poorgradstudent June 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Give Feudalism a chance!

new_pic_for_NEWTer June 12, 2012 at 6:42 pm

…including droit du seigneur for Mitt and our betters…

i_AM_ready June 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Is ND the one with Mount Rushmore? I know it's the state where the accomplice was in the wood chipper.

nounverb911 June 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Rushmore was filmed in Houston.

Baconzgood June 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Oh Yeah?

BelleSC June 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Mount Rushmore is in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Closest airport is Rapid City. Airport identifier is KRAP. I am not making that up.

When flying general aviation it is possible to ask the controllers for vectors to Rushmore. Upon arriving one observes that the subjects, while identifiable, are not as interesting as the view from the ground.

coolhandnuke June 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Marge Gunderson: So that was Mrs. Lundegaard on the floor in there. And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. And those three people in Brainerd. And for what? For a little bit of money. There's more to life than a little money, you know. Don'tcha know that? And here ya are, and it's a beautiful day. Well. I just don't understand it.

MittBorg June 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Frances McDormand, one of the greatest actresses ever.

Generation[redacted] June 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Alright real good then.

BaldarTFlagass June 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm

The North Dakotans should read a little history and study a little geology. Those oil reserves will eventually be depleted. Maybe after that they can raise money by selling the old Minuteman silos to survivalists from Minneapolis and Milwaukee.

chicken_thief June 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm

If North Dakota has so much damn money, why don't they support their own Injuns and get them off the Federal tit?

Baconzgood June 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm

That's just plain fucking stupid.

seppdecker June 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Genius North Dakota plan –
1) No more taxes!
2)Credit cards and meth!
3)$$$

ChernobylSoup June 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm

I wish they'd do that in my state. Every year the county assessor asks if I own any goats* and we get in this big fight over whether the goats are family or property. And every year when I provide photo evidence to prove my point, everybody gets all judgmental.

*They really do ask this question.

Jus_Wonderin June 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm

It really is just easier to dress the goats up in street clothes. No questions asked!

MittBorg June 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Er … I guess this is the point where I emphasize strenuously to you, CS, that there's no need to explain further exactly what you meant by that.

Warwhatgoodfor June 12, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Nah, they're my brothers kids. Well, not the ones from that little girl with the purty eyes over there.

Designer_Radio June 12, 2012 at 10:57 pm

I bet your state will pass a law making it mandatory to shoot the county assessor soon. These problems have a way of working themselves out when Republicans are in charge.

Biel_ze_Bubba June 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Kinda like Texas, where Bighair Perry and his preacher pals called for an end to drought, fire, and miscellaneous other One-Star State pestilences, but didn’t specify how.

SexySmurf June 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm

would require state government to make up for property tax revenue lost by local governments but doesn’t specify how.

They could sue Dakota Fanning for stealing their name? Or Oliver North?

Come here a minute June 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm

The Constitutional Convention was a "legislative scramble"! It's what tea-partyin' is all about.

chicken_thief June 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

How do them Tea Baggers "scramble" on Rascals?! They got souped up ones with gears and shit?

fartknocker June 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm

This will be fun to watch, especially when a pipeline breaks or a tanker of methyl iso bad karma rolls over in the middle of Minot. You know, those firefighters are way too expensive.

Baconzgood June 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Unrelated to this post:

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! See praying really does work!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/12/burger-k

MittBorg June 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Not more than one per week, OK?

new_pic_for_NEWTer June 12, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Dennys had this last summer – at least in Canadastan. Sorry to disappoint, but it was heinous.

gurukalehuru June 13, 2012 at 12:56 am

Gotta disagree with ya on this one, Baconz. See http://www.gurukalehuru.com

Negropolis June 13, 2012 at 1:21 am

USA! USA!

scvirginia June 13, 2012 at 3:13 pm

And it's kosher, right?

SoBeach June 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm

People shouldn't have to pay more taxes just because they have more property. It's not fair. We should be paying THEM.

A much fairer system would be for the landowners to rent out small parcels of land to farmers, then take 10% of whatever crops they raise as rent for the land.

Everyone wins!

ChernobylSoup June 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Good idea, but there should be a backup plan in case the crops fail. Maybe they could bind the farmer and his family (and their decedents) to the land just to be safe.

Warwhatgoodfor June 12, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Just like Russian peasants. Only they got to keep 50%. Or so.

scvirginia June 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Crotchety pillows on Etsy! That should keep edumacation funded for ages!

actor212 June 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm

My pillows never get crotchety but I hear them mutter when I'm all sweaty.

scvirginia June 12, 2012 at 5:42 pm

That wasn't your pillows, it was us…

actor212 June 13, 2012 at 9:44 am

Hey, I use deodorant!

scvirginia June 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Uh, yeah, we were muttering that we like your deodorant…

Only now I feel like I need to change my user name to Sibyl for some reason?

Goonemeritus June 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm

It won’t be long before the good people of North Dakota develop the same dependency on big oil that Alaskans have. When the boom dries up as they all do that state will have zero revenue and a population accustomed to paying nothing.

MittBorg June 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Followed by rioting, chaos, civil war, and the depopulation of most of the state. I'm not really seeing a downside, here.

scvirginia June 12, 2012 at 5:44 pm

You will once they produce their version of Sarah "Bitter Quitter" Palin…

MittBorg June 13, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Might be time for a culling trip to them regions, eh?

scvirginia June 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Um, yeah. You first… I haz a scared of woodchipperz.

actor212 June 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

North Dakota can have some of the taxes I pay but only if I can have a herd of heifers.

Oh, and a few cows.

BaldarTFlagass June 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm

That whole do-away-with-property tax thing was done in California about 35 years ago, Proposition 13. California has oil, too. It's all worked out really well for them.

Pop_Socket June 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Yes, Prop 13 was such a roaring success I don't know why every state doesn't do it.

bobbert June 12, 2012 at 10:57 pm

There is actually some resonance with Pee13 — one of the reasons it passed was the state had run a surplus and had a bit of money in the bank. All gone next year, of course.

Jus_Wonderin June 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm

"…would require state government to make up for property tax revenue lost by local governments but doesn’t specify how."

Ah, another fine piece of legislation, ain't it?

Biel_ze_Bubba June 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Well, it's not like parceling out the state's (somehow-acquired) millions to hundreds of towns, cities, and counties will be political or anything. I'm sure if some ND town wants a sex-ed program, enlightened nutbag state legislators would never even entertain the notion of yanking on the purse strings.

Pop_Socket June 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm

It's called the Magic Asterisk and it pays for a lot of tax cuts. Just ask Paul Ryan.

Negropolis June 13, 2012 at 1:22 am

It's not a bug, it's a feature.

SayItWithWookies June 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Okay, they're getting rid of taxes and then saying that the state will make up for the lost revenue somehow, which seems oddly unthought-out. This must be like that repeal-and-replace thing they're going to do with healthcare reform.

PubOption June 12, 2012 at 8:36 pm

I suspect that in both cases the replacement will tend towards nothing.

anniegetyerfun June 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Well, the oil will never run out, so why not start reducing those surpluses ASAP?

Devilette June 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm

I'm guessing this is the "Bush theory" of working govt.

randcoolcatdaddy June 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm

There are people in North Dakota?

MittBorg June 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Just check for anything with fewer than four legs.

BigSkullF*ckingDog June 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm

We should sell North Dakota cheap to Canada.

viennawoods13 June 12, 2012 at 7:45 pm

No thanks, we don't want it. Hell, our glorious leader is cutting 60% of the staff at historic sites! We don't have money to waste on a whole state!

Biel_ze_Bubba June 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm

I know this is a very subtle thing, and hard for anybody to notice, but am I the only one who's figured out that this benefits only property owners? And especially the owners of lots and lots of property? Purely an unintended consequence, I'm sure.

MittBorg June 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm

No! Ya think?

Biel_ze_Bubba June 12, 2012 at 7:15 pm

The sales tax on a can of hobo beans will rise as a result – but that's only fair.

Wile E. Quixote June 12, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Why should North Dakotans have to pay property taxes? They can just keep stealing money from the blue states.

emmelemm June 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm

That steams my cookies every time I see it.

Biel_ze_Bubba June 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Somebody should show the rubes how the GOP's budget plan would affect those numbers.

Estproph June 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm

I agree with them. Why have property taxes? They have no property.

Doktor Zoom June 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm

I'm not sure I agree with you a hundred percent on your budgeting work, there, Lou.

Ryy June 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm

North Dakota cannot have low employment and oil because Obama is blocking oil production and jobs. Please edit this article. Thanks.

Pithaughn June 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm

this is expected and predictable. That area is one of those places that are so difficult to live in that all the smart like able people move away. I know, my boss is one of them. He is smart and like able, still pretty conservative, but in a lead by example kind of way, not "I'ma gunna beat this TRUTH into you!! " way.

OneYieldRegular June 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm

George W. Bush is available in case they want to hire someone to get rid of that pesky surplus quickly.

Terry June 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm

When their oil boom is over, they'll be feeding themselves with rats and prairie dogs caught on the playgrounds of closed schools. And shivering. A lot.

chascates June 12, 2012 at 6:49 pm

The oil will run out, the workers will leave, and the prairie grass will cover all again. The buffalo may return but the Native Americans will not because we've stuck them on the rez and made them alcoholics. Just a few small towns will be left with a few colorful characters who will tell people stopping for gas about the glory days.

nedbeaumontjr June 12, 2012 at 8:51 pm

"The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean" was a fine movie.

chascates June 12, 2012 at 9:00 pm

More like "The Last Picture Show" perhaps?

nedbeaumontjr June 12, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Not enough evil Roddy McDowel in The Last Picture Show.

CivicHoliday June 12, 2012 at 7:13 pm

in NO WAY AT ALL will the regressive tax policies of ND and AK backfire when the oil reserves run dry and everyone has to eek out a living selling switchgrass biodiesel to passing caravans of hippies.

whiterabid June 12, 2012 at 7:14 pm

When you got money
You got lots of friends
Hanging around your door
But when the money's gone
And all your spending ways
They won't be around anymore

Nostrildamus June 12, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Fools! Now Montana will invade and take their women.

rickmaci June 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm

North Dakota. South Dakota. Like this country really needed two Dakotas.

Designer_Radio June 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm

South Dakota sez: "I'm With Stupid".

owhatever June 12, 2012 at 11:29 pm

There were no property taxes in North Dakota when the Founding Four Fathers landed on Plymouth Rock, and that was good enough for them. I would love to watch this grand experiment in democracy at work.

Negropolis June 13, 2012 at 1:00 am

North Dakota: The Dakota that still elects Democrats.

Honestly, I don't know how that's even possible, but it still happens. How Byron Dorgan was elected anywhere, let alone in such a rugged state, is beyond my understanding of the universe.

BTW, North Dakota voted this down overwhelmingly, which is yet another example (like Mississippi's personhood proposal) that there really are things to crazy that vast majorities will vote them down.

I guess what I'm saying is that if we had to get rid of one of the Dakota's, I'd rather it not be the one with Fargo.

ttommyunger June 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Why not just get rid of North (and South) Dakota?

MittBorg June 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Bock.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: