Income tax

Letter: Sales tax relief would help more North Dakotans than income tax relief – InForum

Governor Doug Burgum has proposed giving the citizens of North Dakota “permanent and meaningful relief” by eliminating state income tax for 60% of us and moving to a flat rate of 1. 5% for the rest. We have infrastructure, public education needs, including teacher and child care shortages. If we can meet those needs and we have money left over, a tax cut is in order. However, wouldn’t it make sense to enact tax relief that benefits all taxpayers?

Virtually everyone in the state pays a 5% sales tax, which comes with a local tax of 1% to 2.5% in most cities and towns. I guess most families pay a lot more in sales tax each year than they realize and more than they pay in income tax. A reduction in the state sales tax rate would benefit everyone from the day of its enactment. Another way to reduce the tax burden would be to eliminate the sales tax on clothing like Minnesota does. Groceries and prescription drugs are already exempt, so an additional item should be easy.

A reduction in income tax obviously benefits the wealthiest the most. Income tax is the easiest to pay because you only pay if you have income. As a variable annual income farmer, when I have a bad year, I get an automatic income tax reduction. Also, North Dakota’s income tax is already one of the lowest in the country. Many North Dakotans pay little or no income tax. Sales tax relief would benefit everyone who purchases taxable items. This would fit the description of “permanent and significant relief” much better.

Charles Linderman lives in Carrington, North Dakota

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Forum Editorial Board or the owners of the Forum.