Better ideas to deal with property taxes

Fargo Forum – January 21st, 2007

For all the debate surrounding how the state can provide relief from rising property taxes: Numerous alternatives to Gov. John Hoeven’s absurd “trust the counties that are overtaxing you” plan in no way guarantees that the taxpayers themselves will actually see tax relief.

On the state level, an idea worth considering would be to abolish the practice of annual assessments altogether. Properties should be reassessed for tax purposes only when sold or ownership is otherwise transferred. The current system poses problems for senior citizens who are forced to pay more and more each year, on a fixed income, with no idea where they will find the money.

What happens when senior citizens start to follow the youth out of the state when they simply cannot afford to continue to shell out more each year to the government?

On the federal level, Congress can allow taxpayers to deduct every penny paid in property tax without itemizing and still utilize the full standard deduction. This will allow average and low-income taxpayers to take advantage of the same deduction that high-income taxpayers with complex deductions already receive.

A government of the people just should not have the ability to increase the living costs of its people on a whim. The people themselves need to wake up to the way their local officials are spending their money, but until that happens, it is the duty of state legislators to do what they can to create long-term relief from rising property taxes.

(Don’t bother asking why the first paragraph is so bad, I don’t know why I sent it that way. The bigger question is why did they print it that way?)

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