“No. 1 is great if you’re a girl’s basketball team, but not in taxes.” This was a comment offered by Mandan Park Board member Terry Kraft at the events center public forum held March 27.
Kraft was referring to an article that ran in the Bismarck Tribune on March 25, which stated that residents in Mandan “face the highest property taxes in the North Dakota.” He and other Mandan leaders and municipalities are concerned about property taxes and have been working to hold the line on budgets.
Our community is striving to retain and attract businesses and residents. As we work together in this development process, it is important that you know Mandan tax rates have decreased. Mandan’s consolidated mill levy now ranks fourth among the state’s 13 largest cities.
The data used in the Tribune article was based on tax rates levied in fiscal year 2005 that were payable in 2006. For taxes levied in 2006 that were payable in 2007, the consolidated levy for Mandan — including county, school, city and park district shares — dropped by 13.17 mills to 521.51 mills.
Here’s the comparison from the North Dakota League of Cities as of January 2007:
Devils Lake, $538.83; Grafton, 522.38; Jamestown, 521.60; Mandan, 521.51; Williston, 502.19;Â Valley City, 492.59; Wahpeton, 490.28; Grand Forks, 483.47; Fargo, 467.25; Dickinson, 457.21; West Fargo, 449.99; Minot, 441.74; Bismarck, 440.40.
The city of Mandan is often blamed for tax rates in the community. You may be surprised to know that the “city” portion of the Mandan property tax bill is 21.3 percent, which is slightly below the 21.8 percent average of North Dakota’s 13 largest communities.
Please also consider that a home buyer can get more for his or her dollar in Mandan — be it newer, bigger, or both — than in larger cities like Bismarck or Fargo. Listings of taxes on the so-called same $150,000 home across various communities do not provide apples-to-apples comparisons. A home that sells for $150,000 in one community might sell for $160,000 or a $170,000 in the next.
As Mandan continues to grow its business base, we can look forward to additional property tax relief through increased sales tax collections, which reached a record $1.42 million in 2006.