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House votes to cut income tax rates by 10 percent

BISMARCK - North Dakota House lawmakers voted Monday to cut individual and corporate income tax rates by 10 percent across the board, while defeating bills aimed at reducing personal income tax rates to zero or replacing them with a flat tax.

BISMARCK – North Dakota House lawmakers voted Monday to cut individual and corporate income tax rates by 10 percent across the board, while defeating bills aimed at reducing personal income tax rates to zero or replacing them with a flat tax.

House Bill 1223 passed on a 67-25 vote, with two members absent. It now goes to the Senate.

The bill’s fiscal note estimates it would reduce individual income tax revenue by $100 million and corporate income tax revenue by $52 million in 2015-17.

Democrats argued against the income tax cuts, saying the focus should be on property tax relief and meeting critical state needs such as law enforcement and better oversight of the oil and gas industry.

House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, said those needs are being addressed in the budget and returning money to taxpayers is good public policy.

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House members voted 23-70 to defeat House Bill 1167, which was introduced by Rep. Scott Louser, R-Minot. It would have zeroed out individual rates and flattened the state’s income tax brackets from five to one at a projected loss of revenue of $467 million in the first year of the biennium.

An amendment to the bill would have made the cuts contingent on the “big trigger” oil extraction tax exemption not being in effect the prior tax year.

House Bill 1296, introduced by Rep. Kim Koppelman, R-West Fargo, would have imposed a flat individual income tax rate of 2 percent, reducing state revenues by an estimated $292 million in 2015-17. It failed 31-62. A third income tax cut bill, HB 1298, also was rejected 19-74.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s budget proposed a 10 percent cut in individual income tax rates and a 4.8 percent cut in corporate rates.

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