2023-01. Opposition to Elimination of Property Tax. A petition drive is currently underway to place a measure on the ballot eliminating all property taxes. Property tax is a locally assessed tax that is crucial to funding local political subdivisions. Although the potential measure states the lost revenue would be replaced by State dollars, it is unclear where the legislature would find the required dollars. More concerning though is without a local funding mechanism, political subdivisions would be reliant on the State Legislature’s funding decisions on a two-year basis. This association supports keeping property tax as a tool in the toolbox to adequately fund local services. New Resolution

2023-02. State Managed Services. In the last several decades the State has taken over the responsibility of many programs that were traditionally managed by the county. Courts, criminal defense and child support are just a few examples. Although these moves have been largely successful and reduced the demand on property taxpayers, careful consideration should be paid to potential negative consequences of losing local services. This Association supports maintaining the current county offices and their employees. New Resolution

2023-03. Public Employees Retirement System. The 2023 legislative session closed the PERS pension plan to a majority of new county employees beginning in January 2025. Counties did not seek for the plan to be closed nor did they object to slight increases in contributions to keep the plan sustainable. In order to keep the current vested employees whole it will be necessary to fund the plan into the future. This Association supports full funding of the plan using State dollars as opposed to significant increases in property tax. This Association also supports all efforts to provide retirement solutions to those employees no longer eligible to participate in PERS. New Resolution

2023-04. County Candidate Education. The strength of a representative government depends on citizens taking an active role in the governments that represent them. This is especially true when it comes to local government. This Association supports efforts to encourage more individuals to participate in county government and supports extending training opportunities to ensure quality candidates engage in county government. New Resolution

2023-05. Liability Exposure on Joint Cost Participation Contracts. State law requires contractors to post bonds to cover the potential costs associated with non-performance. Additionally, Federal and State funding depends on contractors providing the required documentation for work performed. However, in the case of a non-responsive or delinquent contractor such information is no longer provided which threatens the Federal and State funding leaving the county liable for the repayment of funds or potential litigation costs against the bonding firms. This association supports ways to limit exposure to liability on joint costs participation contracts. New Resolution

2023-06. Support for CHINS “Children in Need of Services” (i.e., runaways or ungovernable behavior) shelters. At risk children need a safe shelter, however the cost for the first 24 hours of placement of a CHINS youth in certified shelter care by law enforcement is an expense to counties and other local governments. This Association supports additional State funding to ensure certified shelter care is fully funded on a reimbursable basis for counties from the time such youth is placed in the certified shelter care facility. Revised Resolution

2023-07. Increase in gas tax and tax on electric vehicles. Highway infrastructure is critically important to North Dakota citizens and their businesses. Although recent years have seen increased funding for roads and bridges at the legislature, the increases in costs of construction still puts a strain on maintaining this important infrastructure. The advent of electric vehicles and improved gas mileage also puts an additional squeeze on gas tax collection which North Dakota is amongst the lowest in the region. This association supports reasonable increases in both the gas tax and electrical rates for vehicles to be used exclusively for road and bridge construction and repair. New Resolution

2023-08. Bridge inspections. Traffic Safety on North Dakota roads and bridges is a priority for county government. As has been seen throughout the country and even in North Dakota, bridges that fail can lead to disastrous consequences. Bridge inspections are therefore critical to ensure those disasters are avoided. However, the current inspection process is cumbersome and time consuming and results in added costs. This association supports innovative ways in which the counties can both have a bridge inspected while also providing solutions to any delinquencies. New Resolution