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New line item on tax forms detail property tax relief

On the heels of the unveiling of Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s new Task Force on Property Tax Reform, North Dakota’s deputy tax commissioner said Wednesday a new line item on citizens’ property tax bills will shed more light on how much of the tab the state is picking up.

During a conference call with reporters about the governor’s appointed tax panel, Ryan Rauschenberger — who earlier this year was appointed by Dalrymple to take the place of outgoing North Dakota Tax Commissioner Cory Fong — said a new addition to property taxpayers’ annual bill will detail exactly what the state has provided in the way of tax relief.

“This month, people’s tax bills will look a little different,” Rauschenberger said. “There will be additional information on the property tax forms that come out for all counties this year, which will include a line item called ‘legislative tax relief.’ It will show, for the current tax year, 2012 and 2011, just how much the state is paying on everyone’s property tax bill.”

Dalrymple said one of the tasks the new panel is charged with is providing more “transparency” into the state’s tax levying process and the reasoning behind those decisions with regard to seemingly everybody’s favorite tariff — property taxes.

“Hopefully, we can rework the way we do property taxes in North Dakota,” Dalrymple said during a conference call with The Dickinson Press. “We think a group of people who are really experts in the area of property taxes are the right people to get into the mechanics of the whole thing and try to make some lasting, permanent improvements in the system. That’s a little different than some of the policy decisions that legislators have wrestled with over the past few years.”

Dalrymple said that, contrary to what some in the state believe, North Dakota has provided “a lot of property tax relief” in the past several years, though he added much of the work has been done through school district funding.

Largely due to the booming Bakken energy play in western North Dakota, property tax evaluations have been more fluid recently than in past years, which has had some property owners in the western part of the state worried lately.

“Depending on the city, the number for that line item will vary,” Rauschenberger said.

“For Dickinson, property owners could see that, for 2013, the state is basically paying about $1,400 of your property tax bill, if not more, for a $200,000 home.

“That will all be additional information that counties will now provide and that’s going to be for all 53 counties,” he said.

Dalrymple said school district levies will not be part of the task force’s discussions.

The governor appointed 10 voting and four non-voting members to the panel.

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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