Lawmakers looking at property tax relief for seniors

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 7:15 PM CST
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MINOT, N.D. – Lawmakers in North Dakota are looking at a few new options for easing the property tax burden on people that struggle to afford it.

Property taxes and increasing home values can be challenging to home owners over 65.

“Seniors on those fixed incomes usually have more issues going on. Medical expenses are always an issue for seniors, drug plans, drug costs, cost for food, those types of things,” said Roger Reich, Minot Commission on Aging.

Of two bills working through the state legislature, one would freeze taxes for some groups at their current value, while another would discount the value. Both raise some concerns with local lawmakers.

“I think it also ignores the fact that government really needs to be funded in an equitable manner with lots of different streams of revenue. Property taxes, income taxes, fees for services, particularly fees that actually cover the cost of delivering the service for things like water and garbage we pretty much have to charge what it costs us,” said Stephan Podrygula, Minot Alderman.

He brings up that city costs increase each year, which could make the disparity even steeper.

“A city has to have a fire department, it has to have police, it has to have a street department to maintain and do all those things that need to be done in the city. If you take away property tax that’s a fiscal note that they have to make up somehow,” said Reich.

The house is considering to spend the next two years studying the options to make a change at the next legislative session.

That bill has been approved out of committee and will be heard on the floor of the house.

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