We at OTE may bemoan the dysfunction here inside the DC beltway, but when good things happen elsewhere, we try to be all over it.
As my CBPP colleague Michael Leachman points out here, the idea that you could eliminate your property tax and make up the lost revenue through the subsequent growth–the usual supply-side, trickle-down alchemy–was soundly rejected–3-to-1 against!–by the good voters of North Dakota.
This victory for sanity was even more impressive because the state is one of the few with rapid revenue growth…
…thanks to a surge in oil production. But, as we detailed in a recent analysis, using volatile oil revenues to replace much more stable property taxes would have been highly imprudent and would have wasted the historic opportunity created by the oil boom on a strategy with little benefit to future generations of North Dakotans.
It’s notable that even in a state flush with cash, voters understood the danger in eliminating a key revenue source. Measure 2’s failure will protect North Dakota’s future and make clear to policymakers in other states considering big tax breaks that voters aren’t buying overblown promises.
So, I’m going to give ND the first OTE “State of the Month” award, with all the privileges that entails, including free downloads of any OTE posts, graphs and tables included. Get to work, you other 49!