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9/22/2011 Chamber News
Chamber Opposes Property Tax Measure

CONTACT:   Adrienne Olson, Director of Communications
  218.359.0524 / aolson@fmwfchamber.com

Chamber Opposes Property Tax Measure

Fargo Moorhead, ND/MN (September 22, 2011) - The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce opposes North Dakota Measure 2 which seeks to eliminate property taxes statewide. The measure will appear on the June 2012 statewide ballot.

Measure 2, as currently set forth, completely eliminates a major funding source for North Dakota government. Accordingly, the complete repeal of property taxation by Measure 2 will be a major disruption of the foundation of North Dakota’s economic model.

While eliminating property taxes sounds appealing, they are an essential component of local governmental control. The Chamber does not support amending the state constitution to eliminate the ability of local jurisdictions to generate revenue to provide services.

“To eliminate an entire source of revenue for nearly 3,000 political subdivisions without an approved methodology to replace that funding is dangerous,” said Craig Whitney, President and CEO of The Chamber. “Instead, we need to explore alternative, sustainable revenue sources in order to lower the tax burden on property owners.”

Eliminating property taxes will open the door to raising other taxes such as personal and corporate income taxes and sales taxes. The measure also identifies other entities that could be taxed such as oil and gas, financial institutions and state lottery. If one tax is too high, shifting the tax burden to already taxed sources is not the answer.

The Chamber values and supports the citizen initiative process and encourages voters to get involved in in finding a more responsible approach for property tax reform and relief.

Committed to educating voters on the property tax measure, The Chamber will engage members in future conversations as additional information about this measure’s impact emerge.

About The Chamber
The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce is a bi-state, regional federation of 2,000 private, public and non-profit member firms representing more than 80,000 people. The largest local chamber in North Dakota and Minnesota, The Chamber advocates for a strong metropolitan community and supports the interests of its members, which are located in Cass and Clay Counties and beyond.

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