January 6, 2011

Go local, save and cut taxes

Go local, save and cut taxes
Poll respondents identify priorities for Legislature
 North Dakota’s Legislature convened this week with a sizeable budget surplus that many residents believe should come back, in one form or another, to their own pockets.
The North Dakota Prairie Poll last month surveyed residents of 11 rural communities to determine where they think the Legislature should place its spending priorities.
Sending a piece of the pie back to local cities and counties was the most popular priority for those responding to the poll.
They also believe as much as possible of the $800 million surplus should be saved for a rainy day, that a good chunk should go toward infrastructure maintenance and improvements in the oil patch, and that property tax relief should be a priority.
Respondents see stopping the rise of Devils Lake as a more moderate priority, and they’re lukewarm to subsidies for wind power and other green energy and to helping fund Fargo area flood control.
They are more opposed than in favor of using state funds to increase salaries and pensions for state employees.
When new Gov. Jack Dalrymple delivered his budget message last month, he said the “over arching message” of the budget is to fund priorities, provide tax relief and build reserves for the future.
That appears to fit well with priorities identified by respondents to the poll.
 


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