Bill would eliminate state Social Security tax

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BISMARCK, N.D. - North Dakota is one of 13 states that tax Social Security benefits. Now there's a proposal trying to stop that practice.

Rep. Larry Bellew, R-Minot, is sponsoring a bill to exempt Social Security from state income tax. Bellew says the fiscal note, which shows the state losing $21 million over the next two years, is far less than one percent of the budget.

“This should not hurt state government at all. If we cannot reduce government spending by $21 million to help our seniors, then shame on us,” said Bellew.

Nobody spoke against the bill Tuesday, but Sen. Dwight Cook, R-Mandan, who chairs the Finance and Taxation committee, says he doesn't support it. He says he believes in a “broad base, low rate” philosophy.