Dickinson rejects annual appropriation and tax levy measure

A sales tax is a tax paid to a governing body for the sales of certain goods and services.
Ashley Koffler / The Dickinson Press
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EDITOR'S NOTE: A quote was incorrectly attributed to Commissioner John Odermann in the original version of this story. His quote has been corrected to reflect his election night statements in this updated version of the story.

DICKINSON — For the first time since 2018, the City of Dickinson sought to impose an increase in sales tax. Voting concluded on Tuesday night and saw the 2023 Annual Appropriation and Tax Levy fail by a large margin of 63.1% to 36.9%.

"I'm disappointed, but understand," John Odermann, City Councilman said. "It was a bit of a nebulous proposal in that there wasn't really a project that was assigned to it... without a big project, I think it's difficult for tax payers to say 'I want to give the government more of my money.' We all knew it was going to be a tough sale. With the economy right now and inflation how it is, it can be difficult for people..."

The measure sought to implement a 1% sales, use and gross receipts tax increase for the purpose of funding property tax reduction, community projects and city capital projects. Had the measure passed it would have become effective for fiscal year 2023.

North Dakota cities currently collect a sales tax, with the first 5% being provided to the state. Dickinson’s sale tax is 6.5% (1.5%), which is lower than most cities in the state.


Forty percent of funds levied by the increase were slated toward property tax reduction, while another 30% would have been used for capital and infrastructure improvement projects. The remaining 30% was earmarked for community betterment projects.

In a September interview with The Dickinson Press, Mayor Scott Decker said he expected the measure to provide 2.4 million in property tax relief, 1.8 million each for city capital and infrastructure improvement and another 1.8 million for community improvement projects — such as the Sanford Sports Complex and Dickinson Area Public Library.

With the fail of the 2023 Tax Levy, Dickinson’s sales tax will remain locked at from 6.5%.

"I'm disappointed but the city commission will drive on,"Scott Decker, mayor of Dickinson, said. "Some of the quality of life projects the citizens are asking for are still on our radar but it's just going to take longer to complete some of them. Hopefully we will be able to maintain our current property tax..."

With four starters and five seniors graduated last season, the Trinity Titans boys basketball team will be left with one returning starter, All-Region selection Jake Shobe. They will be rebuilding chemistry and strength this year to plug those gaps with an inside presence to compliment him.

Amber Neate grew up in rural Skull Valley, Arizona. Her passion of covering sports of all types, including personal favorites wrestling, hockey, rodeo and football, began at an early age.

She obtained her Associate of Arts Degree from Yavapai Community College before attending Northern Arizona University for a three-year journalism program. While at NAU, Neate worked as an Assistant Sports Editor for the Lumberjack Newspaper as well as a hockey commentator for KJACK Radio.

Gaining her experience working for a small community paper, The Wickenburg Sun, as a general news and features reporter, her love for sports and a small-town community brings her to Dickinson to cover southwest North Dakota sports.

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