Today’s Ask Your Government

Dear Teri,

What would a 2 percent across the board increase in state income tax raise for the state of North Dakota?

Tom Glaser

Dickinson

Thanks for writing! Here’s what Tax Commissioner Cory Fong said:

“I asked Kathy Strombeck, research analyst, to assist me with my response to you. She based her analysis on the assumption that the reader was interested in the individual income tax rates. 

“Under current law, individual income tax rates range from 1.51 percent to 3.99 percent of North Dakota taxable income. If each of the tax rates were to increase by 2 percent, the rates would then range from 3.51 percent to 5.99 percent. That would result in an increase in total individual income tax collections of approximately $254 million per year.”

 

Dear Teri,

The media often reports on the Minnesota Legislature deliberating and authorizing a “bonding bill.” I assume a “bonding bill” approves borrowing money to fund the state of Minnesota infrastructure projects and so my question is:

How does North Dakota fund infrastructure projects? Describe the source of funds and the funds allocation process that accomplishes highway, bridges, higher education campus, flood control, and other state building and infrastructure projects in North Dakota.

Thank you.

John Postovit

Fargo

Thanks for writing! I asked Office of Management and Budget Director Pam Sharp to answer your question. Here’s what she said:

“North Dakota has not had a ‘bonding bill’ for the past three biennia. Due to the state’s strong fiscal condition, the state has paid cash for buildings and infrastructure projects rather than bond.

“Infrastructure projects are funded with various funding sources in North Dakota, depending on the project. Highways and bridges are normally funded with a combination of federal funds and revenues collected from the North Dakota gas tax. In the current biennium, however, infrastructure for the western part of the state was funded with general fund dollars in addition to federal funds and gas tax funds.

“Academic buildings for higher education campuses and other related projects have been funded either through the North Dakota Building Authority with a bonding bill or funded directly with cash. For the last three biennia, projects that could have been funded through the Building Authority have been funded with cash.  

“Flood control is funded from the Resources Trust Fund. This fund receives 20 percent of the oil extraction revenue and is available to be spent on water projects throughout the state.”

The Senate and House appropriations committees determine how to allocate money after reviewing the governor’s recommendations and bill drafts, as well as hearing testimony from interested parties. Members then present committee recommendations to their colleagues during floor sessions.

Do you have a question for a North Dakota state government official or agency? Send us your question, and we’ll do our best to find an answer.

E-mail politics@wday.com (Subject: Ask your government).

You may also write to Teri Finneman c/o Forum Communications, Press Room, State Capitol, Bismarck, ND 58505.

Please include your name, town and a phone number to reach you for verification.

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