Conservatives have made huge strides in advancing their political beliefs in certain niches of public policy at the state level, such as promoting school choice, limiting abortion access, and 2nd Amendment rights in respect to right to carry laws. Albeit in no other area has the right-wing philosophy been the most legislatively progressive than in the field of taxes. In 1980, when Ronald Reagan became President the top marginal income tax rate was 70% and it has been between 28% and 39% since the Gipper left the Oval office. Even in President Obama’s first term when the Democratic Party also enjoyed a super majority in both houses, such ideas for returning back to the Pre-Reagan years on income tax were never even discussed in hypothetical terms. “No new taxes” has been a generally bipartisan consensus with an exception on the call for the top 1% of wage earners to return to pre-W. Bush rates.
Conservatives and Libertarians are mounting a Herculean effort now to take tax reform to a new level in the state of North Dakota. They hope to accomplish their agenda through the passage of Measure 2; a statewide ballot initiative will be taken for a vote on June 12 to eliminate property tax throughout the state. All lost revenue due to the measure will be replaced “locations of various state-level taxes and other revenues”. Regardless of how the revenue will be replaced, Measure 2 would be groundbreaking reform for the nation, as it would make North Dakota the first state to ban property taxes outright.
To many on the right the passage of Measure 2 would be the best of both worlds, philosophically this would be the furthest advancement of property rights in America thus far and a net benefit to North Dakota’s economy. According to the Grand Folks Herald, the benefits of Measure 2 include the increase of $980 million in private investment, a $1,430 rise in private disposal income per capita, as well as the creation of 13,000 new jobs. While 13,000 jobs may not seem like much, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics it represents 3% of North Dakota’s labor force, which currently suffers from 3% joblessness. In other words, the measure would decrease unemployment in the state to 0%; North Dakota would literally see a massive increase in need of demand for labor, which would result in higher wages for workers due to the shortage. Likely outcomes of a labor shortage would be more migration into the state, which could help kick-start new developments in housing.
So who could possibly be against Measure 2, which would enhance human freedom, private property as well as create jobs and spur private capital investment? Answer: liberals.