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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Tax diversity

Awww, too bad:

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The other high profile issue was Measure 2, the elimination of property taxes. Voters have resoundingly rejected the measure that would have made North Dakota the 1st state to end local property taxes.

Yes: 28,226 (22.83%)

No: 95,410 (77.17%)

Actually, just kidding. As long as we have to have taxes, it makes sense for the government to have as many sources of tax as possible, both to avoid the "eggs in one basket" problem and to give individual taxpayers a break. If I'm giving a little bit here and a little bit there, I have a better chance of limiting my liability than if they're taking one big chunk from me. And unlike a lot of other taxes that fluctuate based on economic activity, such as sales and income taxes, property taxes offer a stable source of tax revenue. (Which is why, by the way, Indiana probably made a mistake by moving much of school funding away from property taxes.) The move to eliminate the property tax came in large part because the North Dakota economy is booming, which has led to a tremendous increase in sales tax revenue. But it's shortsighted to think the economy wil always be booming.

3-to-1 is not just a defeat -- it's a crushing defeat. Smart, those North Dakota voters.