Our provincial neighbors to the North changed their tax code, and it’s creating a headache for rural municipalities. The change was simple, the province lowered the rate at which certain commercial properties could be taxed. It was a win for some businesses, and a loss for others. But there’s an important underlying factor at play; municipal budgets are based on hard costs and realities, not tax rates. When one group gets a reduction in taxes, others have to make up the lost revenue difference.
Why does it matter here in Minot? Because in North Dakota we play the same game, only worse. There are a few categories of property ownership that pay no property taxes at all. And when one doesn’t pay, it’s the rest that makes up the difference.