Basin Electric opposes Measure 2 in North Dakota

In June, North Dakotans will vote on whether to amend their constitution. If they vote YES, they won’t have to pay property taxes anymore.

Sounds like an easy decision, right?

The state legislature would replace local government revenues with state revenues. But there are more than 2,000 units of local government in North Dakota, and the amendment does not guarantee local government would be funded above 2011 levels.

The trouble is, property taxes are what fund our schools, roads, emergency services, and more. Local government will still decide how to spend their “allowance” from the state government, but they can’t decide how much they’ll get. And Basin Electric’s members, the people of rural electric cooperatives, will suffer the consequences.

Jeff Eslinger, communications manager at the North Dakota Association of Counties, took it upon himself to explain Measure 2 in North Dakota as simply as possible through video.

The Bismarck Tribune covered a town hall meeting last night on this issue: Bismarck voters hear pros and cons of Measure 2


  1. So Basin Electric does not pay property tax they were one of the ones who pays in lieu of property tax but not on assessed value? So Basin Electric will still pay their in lieu of tax and receive no benefit by Measure 2 passing?

  2. Steven Douglas says:

    Basin Electric is on the take, exempt from a property tax that everyone else pays. Of course they are opposed to Measure 2. They BENEFIT FROM IT.

  3. basinelectric says:

    If Measure 2 passes, the Legislative Council has determined that the taxes currently paid by electric cooperatives would remain in place. Those include transmission line taxes and taxes on wind and gas generators owned by electric cooperatives. However, the property of Investor-Owned utilities subject to property taxes based upon fair market value assessment and imposition by the State Board of Equalization would be eliminated.

    We are opposing the measure because 1) moving the decision-making away from the local political subdivisions to the state legislature takes away local control, and 2) if this measure passed, while most of Basin Electric’s and our member cooperatives’ taxes would remain in place, most of the investor owned utility taxes would be eliminated.

  4. Steven Douglas says:

    So the concern on Basin Electric’s part is that those no longer liable for property tax would obtain an economic advantage over those who are still liable for other taxes. That’s very similar the argument Measure 2 supporters use, only within the same tax. Significantly over $1 Billion in North Dakota property, most of which is privately owned, is exempt from any property tax – which shifts the burden entirely onto those who pay, while giving decided economic advantages to those who don’t.

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