North Dakota Legislature: Property Taxes, gender identity, pink tax bills up for debate

Photo by: North Dakota State House of Representatives
Photo by: North Dakota State House of Representatives

(Bismarck, ND) -- With the deadline now passed for State House lawmakers to introduce bills, plenty is on the table for the 68th legislative session to consider in Bismarck.

Three new bills addressing property taxes are being considered by the North Dakota Legislature.

Senator Donald Schaible introduced a bill yesterday that would reduce property taxes by 25-percent by lowering local school district funding and increasing the state's contribution to education. Senator Curt Kreun's bill would freeze property taxes for people 65 and up. A House bill introduced by Representative Clair Cory would change the way property taxes are levied on mobile home parks.

In all at least 18 property tax bills have been introduced this session.

In the meantime, North Dakota lawmakers are considering a controversial bill that would restrict the language used to determine and address gender identity.

The bill would redefine gender as an individual's determined sex at birth, with only male and female as choices. It would also restrict the use of personal pronouns in state-funded settings such as public schools to reflect the new definition of gender.

Violations of the proposed law would be met with a 15-hundred dollar fine. Opponents say the law would discriminate against transgender individuals and wouldn't survive a legal challenge.

And another bill is under consideration to eliminate the so-called "pink tax" on feminine hygiene products in North Dakota.

Supporters say the bill would provide a more equal tax code. The bill would cut state sales tax revenue by about one-and-a-half million dollars.

The bill's sponsor says women spend an average of nearly six dollars each in taxes on feminine hygiene products a year.