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ND voters embrace their property taxes

Voters in North Dakoka -- flush with oil boom money and enjoying the lowest unemployment in the nation -- had the chance Tuesday to become the first state to cast off property taxes. But in the end, voters decided to keep the $800 million a year the taxes raise.
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The prospect that oil-rich North Dakota could be the first state in the nation to eliminate property taxes attracted national attention, but a cool response on Tuesday from voters, the Fargo Forum reports.

They soundly rejected Measure 2, which would have scrapped property taxes. “I think North Dakotans understand that government isn’t free,” Andy Peterson, president of the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, said in the Forum.

WCCO offered some good background on how North Dakota got to this high-profile vote.

No state ever has eliminated local property taxes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Associated Press noted. But more than 27,000 people signed petitions to put the measure on the ballot.

Measure supporters said North Dakota's property tax system is not fair and full of exemptions.

Backers of the measure said the oil boom -- and the fact that the state has the nation's lowest unemployment rate -- made it the perfect time to abolish property taxes, CNNMoney notes. Here's a video from CNN on turning farmland into oil fields in North Dakota.

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