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Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

Spending proposals in upcoming legislature could hit ag hard.

Farmers and ranchers could get nicked hard in the upcoming legislature.

North Dakota lawmakers will be facing a blizzard of tax and spending proposals when they convene in Bismarck in January, says Wes Belter (R-Leonard). Belter, House Majority Leader, spoke to the North Dakota Farm Bureau convention Friday.

Many proposals could end up costing producers a lot of money.

Broadening of the sales tax would have the most impact on most farm and ranch families, he says. Lawmakers could extend the sales tax to include new and new used farm machinery, farm repairs and even seed, fertilizer and chemical.

Broadening the sales tax appeals to some proponents because they would haven't increase or broaden it much to raise a lot of money.

For instance, it would take a 40% increase in the income tax rate to raise the same amount of money as a 1 percentage point increase in the sale tax, he says.

Other issues likely to dominate the upcoming legislative session include:

  • What to do with the state's $500,000 surplus.
  • School funding and consolidation.
  • Property tax relief, rebates and caps.
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