Commentary: In defense of North Dakota’s income tax cuts
North Dakota Democrats have decided to campaign against the income tax cuts our Republican-dominated Legislature implemented in successive sessions from 2009 onward.
The individual income tax rate went from a 1.84 – 4.86 percent range to its current 1.10 – 2.90 percent. The argument from Democrats, now echoed in a recent editorial in the Grand Forks Herald, is that these tax reductions destabilized the state’s budget and made the state more dependent on tax revenues from the volatile oil and gas industry.
“The state relies too heavily on commodities, so the best tax structure requires conservative tweaks and, especially, diversification,” the Herald wrote. “North Dakotans may not like this, but a modest and consistent income tax needs to be part of the equation. Sales taxes, extraction taxes and the like are just too erratic.”