There has been quite a bit of news that is of concern to our members.

First and foremost, it appears that District 7 Rep. Rick Becker is planning to place a measure on the November ballot that would eliminate all property taxes in North Dakota. My understanding is that Rep. Becker was in Washington, D.C., last week to meet with out-of-state anti-tax advocates on this matter. Though a similar measure was soundly defeated in 2012, Rep. Becker is confident that it will pass this time around and, without the public knowing the facts, he may be correct.

As you know, local property taxes pay for schools and parks, as well as for county and local government. Eliminating property taxes and shifting that burden to the states obliterates the notion of local control. Please know that we are monitoring this closely. You should, too! Click here to read a fantastic analysis by ND United member, Dr. Ellie Shockley.

In an effort to smooth the peaks and valleys of traditional higher ed funding, NDUS Chancellor Mark Hegerott is recommending that the state establish a trust fund. The earnings from this fund would be used to bridge the gaps in the lean years of state funding, and grow the fund when funding is sufficient to meet the needs of the state’s colleges and universities.

In addition, the chancellor is proposing a Higher Education Innovation Fund.

Career and technical education (CTE) has a long history of success in North Dakota. One example is that when Native American students take two courses in the same CTE strand, they graduate at a rate higher than the state average. It is no surprise, then, that the popularity of CTE is growing across the state and in the Legislature. Legislators view CTE as a means to fill the growing number of jobs that are unfilled in North Dakota. Here is an interesting review of a study on the matter by Mike Harwell at the University of Minnesota.

Thanks to all of you for your dedicated and professional service to the public. And thank you for your membership in North Dakota United!

  • The President’s Post is a regular news feature of ND United electronic and print publications, written by President Nick Archuleta.