Bill to suspend income tax defeatedBISMARCK — A bill to suspend the state’s income tax was voted out of the House Finance and Taxation Committee failed during the House floor session Monday by a 23-62 vote.
By: TJ Jerke, The Dickinson Press
BISMARCK — A bill to suspend the state’s income tax was voted out of the House Finance and Taxation Committee failed during the House floor session Monday by a 23-62 vote.
The bill would have suspended the state’s income tax, reducing the state’s general fund revenue by $137 million for upcoming biennium
House Bill 1182 came out of committee with a 14-0 do not pass recommendation.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Scott Louser, R-Minot, told the committee members, “the bill is big, bold and aggressive, but yet responsible.”
Monday, he told the entire House body nine states do not have a personal income tax with two other state legislatures mulling over the idea.
He said many states producing large revenues from energy production, like oil, have replaced their income tax with drilling revenues.
No tax credit for renters
A bill to provide a break to renters, sponsored by Rep. Lois Delmore, D-Grand Forks, failed in the House by a 29-57 vote.
Under House Bill 1221, renters would have received a 5 percent tax credit on $7,200 rent paid.
The state would have lost $62.1 million from its general fund during the 2013-15 biennium.
She said the Legislature has worked hard to provide property tax relief to North Dakotans, but renters have not benefited from the state’s efforts.
“Many states offer tax credit to ensure citizens are treated equitably,” she said.
$400 tax credit fails
A bill to provide a $400 tax credit to every taxpayer over 18 living in the state during the 2014 calendar year failed on the House floor 24-62.
House Bill 1223, sponsored by Rep. Eliot Glassheim, D-Grand Forks, would have reduced the state’s general fund revenue by $212 million and required a $100 million appropriation.
The bill was said to be in violation of the state Constitution in reference to allocating funding out of the general fund.
“We came down knowing a portion of the surplus would have to be given back, point of session is how much, or how?” Glassheim said, referring to the state’s budget surplus.
He said the bill was “prudent, flexible and transparent,” giving money back that is already in the state’s coffers.
No exemption for non-profit health centers
A bill that would have allowed the 23 non-profit health centers in North Dakota to be exempt from sales tax failed in the House by a 35-51 vote.
House Bill 1271, sponsored by Rep. Corey Mock, D-Grand Forks, was requested by the health centers who currently pay sales and use taxes.
He said the $230,000 it would have cost the state over the next biennium would have been more than worth the investment since rural areas such as Northwood rely on the health center as its only provider of care.
“It goes a long way in expanding ability for non-profit health centers to expand care,” he said.
Rep. Craig Headland, R-Montpelier, carried the bill to the floor from the House Finance and Taxation Committee, which recommended a do not pass vote.
He said, “it’s bad policy to provide sales tax exemption to one and not the other,” referring to non-profit and for-profit health centers.