North Dakota Property Transfer Tax Ban Amendment, Measure 2 (2014)

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Measure 2
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:North Dakota Constitution
Referred by:North Dakota Legislature
Topic:Taxes
Status:On the ballot
2014 measures
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June 10
Measure 1Approveda
November 4
Measure 1
Measure 2
Measure 3
Measure 4
Measure 5
Measure 6
Measure 7
Measure 8
Endorsements

The North Dakota Property Transfer Tax Ban Amendment, Measure 2 is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in the state of North Dakota as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure, upon voter approval, would prohibit the state and any political subdivision from imposing mortgage, sales or transfer taxes on the mortgage or transfer of real property.[1]

The amendment was introduced into the North Dakota Legislature as House Concurrent Resolution 3006.[1]

As of September 2014, 36 states, including bordering Minnesota and South Dakota, impose transfer taxes. The other 14 do not, and five states, such as Montana and Wyoming, have banned transfer taxes in their state constitutions.[2]

Text of the measure

Ballot title

The official ballot text is as follows:[3]

Constitutional Measure No. 2
(House Concurrent Resolution No. 3006, 2013 Session Laws, Ch. 520)

This constitutional measure would create and enact a new section to Article X of the North Dakota Constitution stating, “The state and any county, township, city, or any other political subdivision of the state may not impose any mortgage taxes or any sales or transfer taxes on the mortgage or transfer of real property.”

YES - means you approve the measure stated above.

NO - means you reject the measure stated above.[4]

Constitutional changes

See also: Article X, North Dakota Constitution

Measure 2 adds a new section to Article X of the Constitution of North Dakota:[1]

The state and any county, township, city, or any political subdivision of the state may not impose any mortgage taxes or any sales or transfer taxes on the mortgage or transfer of real property.[4]


Background

Transfer tax

The League of Women Voters of North Dakota published a voter guide addressing the 2014 ballot measures. In it, the organization explained the concept of a transfer tax:[5]

A transfer tax is a tax imposed by political subdivisions when a person transfers property. As of September 2014, 36 states, including Minnesota and South Dakota, impose transfer taxes. Five states, including Montana and Wyoming, have banned the transfer tax in their state constitutions. North Dakota does not currently have transfer or mortgage taxes. A YES vote would NOT eliminate a current tax, but would prohibit any unit of government from instituting a transfer tax on real estate in the future.

—League of Women Voters of North Dakota

2012 tax measure

In 2012, the group Empower the Taxpayer successfully landed an initiated constitutional amendment addressing taxes on the North Dakota primary election ballot. This measure, also referred to as Measure 2, sought to eliminate property taxes throughout the state. Specifically, the measure required the legislature to replace local governments' property tax income with state tax revenue.[6] A similar proposal was rejected in 2009 by the North Dakota Legislature.[7] The 2012 Measure 2 was defeated at the polls by a wide margin of 76.54 percent to 23.46 percent.

Support

North Dakota Vote Yes Measure 2 2014.png

The campaign in support of the measure is being led by Vote Yes on Measure 2.[8]

Supporters

Officials

Senate

The following state senators voted to place the amendment on the ballot:[9]

Note: A yes vote on the amendment merely referred the question to voters and did not necessarily mean these legislators approved of the stipulations laid out in Measure 2.
House

The following state representatives voted to place the amendment on the ballot:[10]

Note: A yes vote on the amendment merely referred the question to voters and did not necessarily mean these legislators approved of the stipulations laid out in Measure 2.

Organizations

  • North Dakota Libertarian Party[11]
  • North Dakota Association of Realtors[12]
  • National Association of Realtors[13]
  • Bismarck-Mandan Board of Realtors
  • Fargo-Moorhead Area Association of Realtors
  • Badlands Association OF Realtors
  • Grand Forks Area Association of Realtors
  • Jamestown Association of Realtors
  • Minot Association of Realtors
  • Wahpeton-Breckenridge Association of Realtors
  • Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead

Arguments


A Vote Yes on Measure 2 advertisement.

Vote Yes on Measure 2 provided a "frequently asked questions" section on their website, with arguments in favor of Measure 2. The following is an excerpt from the group's website:

WHY DO WE NEED MEASURE 2?

Even with all the property tax relief that North Dakotans have received in recent years, property taxes are still considered high and remain a hot-button issue. North Dakotans remain frustrated about high property taxes.

We need Measure 2 because as property taxes are being reduced, some municipalities already are looking for other sources of revenue to replace them. In one case, it has been suggested that a possible source of funding might be some other “type of property tax,” like a transfer tax.

WHY SHOULD I VOTE YES ON MEASURE 2?

  • You don't need any more taxes, you already are taxed enough. Measure 2 will prevent government from imposing an additional tax on the sale or transfer of your property. Stop the tax. Vote Yes on Measure 2.
  • A property transfer tax would make it more expensive for you to buy, sell and transfer property.
  • The state and political subdivisions in North Dakota already collect enough revenue; they need to learn to spend the money they have wisely.
  • You don't want the government interfering with your life by adding another tax. No one should create a tax burden for you if you want to transfer property to your children, grandchildren or other family members or if someone wants to transfer property to you.
  • There are other ways to generate revenue without adding another property tax.
  • An additional tax would negatively impact homebuyers. Housing prices in the state are rising and added taxes would make it more difficult for young people who are first time homebuyers and older people looking to downsize to afford homes and other property.[4]

Vote Yes on Measure 2[14]

Other arguments in favor of the measure include:

  • The North Dakota Association of Realtors is encouraging voters to approve Measure 2. Realtor Dave Lanpher explained this type of tax would make it more difficult for people to afford to buy a home and noted that residents "already pay property tax." Lanpher said, "Enough is enough when it comes to taxes."[15]

Campaign contributions

Total campaign cash Campaign Finance Ballotpedia.png
as of October 16, 2014
Category:Ballot measure endorsements Support: $1,174,106
Circle thumbs down.png Opposition: $0

Supporters have received $1,174,106 in contributions as of October 16, 2014. The sole reported contributor to the campaign is the North Dakota Association of Realtors.[16]

PAC info:

PAC Amount raised Amount spent
Vote Yes on Measure 2 $1,174,106 $894,259
Total $1,174,106 $894,259

Top 10 contributors:

Donor Amount
North Dakota Association of Realtors $1,174,106

Opposition

There is no organized opposition to Measure 2, according to the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce's 2014 Voter Guide.[17]

Opponents

Officials

Senate

The following state senators voted against placing the amendment on the ballot:[9]

House

Rep. William Kretschmar (R-28) was the sole state representative to vote against placing the amendment on the ballot.[10]

Arguments

The North Dakota Chamber of Commerce's voter guide, which provided both support and opposition arguments for the measure, listed the following as an opposing argument:

It is too small an issue to be put into the North Dakota State Constitution.

Bottom Line: The Constitution is the skeleton with which laws are based and this issue is too singularly focused to be placed in the constitution.[4]

—North Dakota Chamber of Commerce[17]

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of North Dakota ballot measures, 2014

Support

  • Bismarck Tribune said, "At a time when state coffers are overflowing, property tax relief is important and deserved by homeowners in the state. Lower tax rates, meaning more dollars in taxpayer hands, supports economic growth."[18]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the North Dakota Constitution

According to Section 16 of Article IV of the North Dakota Constitution, the legislature had to approve the bill by a simple majority in order to place the measure on the ballot. The amendment was passed by the North Dakota Senate on April 10, 2013. HCR 3006 was passed by the North Dakota House on April 22, 2013.[19]

Senate vote

April 10, 2013 Senate vote

North Dakota HCR 3006 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 31 65.96%
No1634.04%

House vote

April 22, 2013 House vote

North Dakota HCR 3006 House Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 89 98.89%
No11.11%

See also

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Suggest a link

External links

Basic information

Support

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 North Dakota Legislature, "House Concurrent Resolution No. 3006," accessed January 21, 2014
  2. Williston Herald, "Measure 2 gains local support, ire toward Legislature," September 16, 2014
  3. North Dakota Secretary of State, "Official Ballot Language for Measures Appearing on the Election Ballot," accessed September 4, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  5. League of Women Voters of North Dakota, "2014 Voter Guide," accessed October 16, 2014
  6. Associated Press, "Measure would abolish N.D. property taxes in 2012," March 17, 2010
  7. Associated Press, "Measure to abolish ND property taxes approved," March 30, 2010
  8. Vote Yes on Measure 2, "Homepage," accessed October 16, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 North Dakota Legislature, "Senate Roll Call," accessed September 22, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 North Dakota Legislature, "House Roll Call," accessed September 22, 2014
  11. The Pierce County Tribune, "Libertarian Party opposes Measure 1," September 26, 2014
  12. The Jamestown Sun, "N.D. Realtors group supports yes vote on Measure 2 tax issue," August 15, 2014
  13. Vote Yes on Measure 2, "Our Coalition," accessed October 16, 2014
  14. Vote Yes on Measure 2, "Get the Facts," accessed October 16, 2014
  15. Bismarck Tribune, "N.D. Realtors group supports yes vote on Measure 2 tax issue," August 16, 2014
  16. North Dakota Secretary of State, "Vote Yes on Measure 2," accessed October 16, 2014
  17. 17.0 17.1 North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, "2014 Voter Guide," accessed October 16, 2014
  18. Bismarck Tribune, "Yes on Measures 2 and 6; no on 8," October 19, 2014
  19. North Dakota Legislature, "Bill Actions for HCR 3006," accessed January 22, 2014