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2007 Legislative Updates
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Dear Township Officers

4-26-07 NDTOA legislative report for the 2007 Legislative Session

This is the last legislative report from the Bismarck Legislative Office.

I will be closing this office and moving back home to the Brocket office and serving you from there.  Here are some of the last legislative actions.

HB1460 was a bill that tried to give the Governor the authority to remove a board member of the Workforce Safety Insurance.  The legislators found that they could not give the Governor that authority but they could give the governor veto power over prospective board members and the bill was passed to allow that to be done.

The Higher Education budget passed allowing increases three times higher than passed in the last legislative session.  And we wonder why our property taxes are high !!!!!!!!!!

The Department of Transportation budget was cut by 50 million dollars from last legislative sessions allocations.  Who cares about roads ????

The legislators finished work at 10:38pm on 4-25-07 with the passage of  SB2032 which was supposed to be our property tax relief bill. 

This bill had suffered many changes since it was introduced.   The bill was in conference committee on the week end of April 20th and 21st and it suffered a hog house change which brought about a percentage of property tax to be used as a ND income tax deduction.  This version was not accepted and another attempt was made on 4-23-07 and
it passed the Senate by a 47 to 0 margin only to be rejected by a House vote of 17 to 75. 

Representative Herbel indicated his concerns that the local business owners had been left out of the program, not all who pay property tax was included in this bill and the bill offered no structural change to improve the future of property taxing in ND.  A new conference committee was established to have a last try at property tax changes and the committee brought forth at 9:45 pm on 4-25-07 a bill which was passed.

Business owners were included, the marriage penalty was dealt with, there are no caps for governmental entities and home owners as well as agricultural property owners were included in the 118 million dollar plan.  It is far from perfect but it is as good as they could do this session and there is an interim study proposed.

Ken Yantes

NDTOA Executive Secretary/Director of Governmental

Dear Township Officers
NDTOA Legislative Report 4-9-07 to 4-13-07

HB1446                   text - 70592.0100
HB1446 Township  excess mill levy signed by Governor.
This announcement was made in the House of
Representatives at 1:15 pm on 4-13-07.  We may by a
vote of the residents at a special election increase
the excess mill levy from 50% of general fund $ to
100% of general fund $.
HB 1051                  Text
70332.0600    Fiscal Note FN-70332.0500
Last Friday HB1051 the bill to grant property tax
relief was killed by the Senate.  This week
legislators have resorted to SB2032 to take HB1051's
place.  SB2032 has been amended and finally hog housed
by  House Tax Committee Members and I would like to
cover some of the bills intended actions that are
contained in the hog house version. 
Some of the bills contents are;
1.  In an attempt to reach $80,000,000 in property tax
relief the homestead exemption was first revamped.
To those qualifying for this tax exemption it can
amount to from a high of;  if your income is not in
excess of $10,000, to a reduction of $3375 of your
taxable valuation.  If your income is over $16,000 but
under $17,500 you could get a $675 reduction of
taxable valuation.
A formula for renters was developed but it is limited
to $240 per year refund.
2.  Notice of increased assessment of real estate
owner was changed from those parcels increased by
(15%) ,  to a change of 7% from the last assessment,
notice must be sent to the owner.  The notice can be
sent to property owner by electronic means if the
owner has requested that it be done that way. 
3.  The bill allows school districts to increase their
levy by 3.5% until they  reach their capped level and
after that they must go to the residents for any
further increases.
4.  This bill does away with the marriage penalty in
the income tax computing system.
5.  This bill directs the county treasurer to set up
tax notification forms that indicate the current years
tax liability, the last two years preceding years
liability and the amount of the tax relief given by
this legislative action.
6.  The bill sets up a continuation of an
appropriation from the permanent oil tax trust fund
and a legislative council study of this subject.
After all of the changes the committee voted a 9 to 4
do pass with 4 democrats voting no on the bill.

I am sure more changes are on the horizon for this tax
bill.  I will keep you posted.

HB1420                text  70766.0100
HB1420 passed the house with a 71-21 margin.  This
bill started out to restrict township zoning authority
as granted in 58-03-11 and 23-20.3-03.1 which gave us
the authority to establish institutional controls over
environmental concerns in townships.  All references
to this was amended and re-amended out at every turn
of legislative events. 
We could find nothing left in the bill to oppose so we
let it pass.

HB1029               text  70039.0500
HB1029 is a bill that Representative Wes Belter
introduced to restrict usage of city sales tax to fund
schools. This bill received a 67 to 24 positive vote
in the house on 4-12-07 for the second time and the
Senate has adopted the conference committee report on

HB1146 is a bill that started out to  allow hunting
rights to be severed from the surface owners property.
This bill was amended to mean the opposite and has
passed  House but the Senate amended it and it then
went to a conference committee.  The conference
committee report was adopted  and passed by the Senate
voting 47 to 0 margin on 4-13-07.

HB1321                 Text
HB1321 our bill on extra-territorial zoning remains in
conference committee and Senator Cook is chairman of
this committee.  I will bring you up to date on this
as soon as there is a committee decision.

SB2137 passed  the Senate this week by a margin of 45
to 0.  This bill frees up the usage of county
emergency funds to be used to match FEMA project road
repairs.  The house had already voted 93-0 to do the
same, The Speaker of the House has signed the bill and
it is on its way to becoming law.

HB 1303             text
HB1303 the bill to change the way property taxes are
assessed is in conference committee with Senator Cook
as chairman.  The bill had passed the house by 53 to
37 and the Senate by 36 to 11 but the house did not
agree with the amendments put on by the Senate,
thereby sending it to conference committee which the
Senate appointed the committee members, Cook, Hacker
and Warner on 4-12-07.

SB2178 passed the Senate on  4-12-07 and this bill
contained a very interesting concept.  One county
(Bowman) may be the recipient of 2 million dollars of
oil extraction taxes of which 45% can go for road
maintenance.  Is this the basis for future funding of
statewide township road maintenance   ???????????

Executive Secretary/Director of Governmental Relations
     Ken Yantes 

NDTOA legislative report for week of 4-2-07 to 4-6-07

This week in the 60th Legislative Session legislators became very busy with the appointment of conference committees and conference committee action.  Floor time was quite limited but some of our bills we had introduced to support our policies were acted upon and here is a list of them.

HB1321                 Text
HB1321 The roll back of city extra-territorial zoning authority received a 36-11 passing vote in the Senate on 4-2-07 and will continue on to a conference committee next week.  The study resolution which calls for a 2 year study of the effects of the roll back was passed by a voice vote in the Senate.

HB1344                 text - 70610.0200
HB1344 our Section line bill that passed the Senate last week passed the house by a 88 to 0 margin and should soon be signed by the Governor.

HB1392                   text - 70632.0100
HB1392 The bill that increases township zoning violation penalties from $500 to $2000 passed the Senate by a 47 to 0 margin was returned to the house and the house agreed with the amendments put on by the Senate and voted 61to 28 on 4-3-07  to send it to the Governor for his signature.

HB1446                   text - 70592.0100
HB1446 is the bill that allows townships to increase their excess mill levy from 50% of the general  fund level to 100% of the general fund level by a special election of the residents of a township.  A 60% affirmative vote is required.

The bill passed the Senate on 4-3-07 by a margin of 36 to 11.  This bill's debate took up about a half hour of the Senate's time.  Senator Cook, who had swore to kill it in floor debate last week, rose  and gave a long oration after Senator Olafson, the carrier of our bill did a great job of presenting it for a do pass to his fellow Senators.  Senator Elroy Lindaas, Senator
Bill Bowman, Senator Ryan Taylor,  Senator Arden Anderson and Senator Arthur Behm spoke of the need to allow the township residents to decide for them selves.

Senator Cook arose again and opposed giving us the decision making authority.  Senators Taylor, Olafson and Lindaas spoke again in support of our bill. Please thank all of them for their support, they all did a great job for us.

NDTOA Legislative Report for 3-19-07 to 3-23-07

Progress has been slow on some of our bills but this week the Senate Political
Subdivisions Committee passed out the following bills:

HB1446                   text - 70592.0100
HB1446   This is our increase the Excess Mill Levy bill.  This would allow townships that need extra funding to cover expenses to ask the voters of the township to levy up to 100% of the general fund dollars on property in the township.  This is permissive legislation and most
townships probably will not use this, but some do need the authority.  The bill passed out of the Committee with a 3 to 2 DO PASS vote. 

Senator Olafson will be the carrier of the bill on the Senate floor for us.  Senator Cook (one of the two opposing votes) has promised to kill the bill in floor debate.  Senator Hacker was the
other committee vote in opposition to our bill.  He indicated he was in opposition to tax increases and needs to be informed that this is a bill that will allow the residents of a township to increase taxes on themselves.  The tax to be used in their township should 60% of
the residents vote for the increase. Please urge your Senators to support our HB1446.

HB1392                   text - 70632.0100
HB1392 raises the township zoning penalties from $500 to $2000 was amended to limit the penalty to an annual assessment of $2000. We felt that this was okay as we were not trying to raise funding but were seeking a deterrent to violating township zoning regulations.  The Senate Political Subdivisions Committee voted 5 to 0 DO PASS on this bill and it will probably be on the Senate floor for a vote this coming week.  Please urge your Senator to support
this bill for NDTOA.

HB1344                 text - 70610.0200
HB1344 is the section line bill that would allow an agricultural land owner the authority to construct a road on a section line -- for agricultural purposes -- from one parcel of his property to another which would allow access his property.  The Committee voted a DO PASS recommendation of 4 to 1 and this bill will probably be on the Senate floor this week and needs your Senators support to pass.

HB1321                 Text
HB1321 is the roll back of the 4 mile city Extra-Territorial  Zoning Authority. This bill received a 5 to 0  DO PASS from Senate Political Subdivisions Committee and will also be on the floor of the Senate this week.  If passed, it will probably go to a conference committee and I will
report on the progress next week.

HB1420                text  70766.0100
In other action from last week HB1420 passed the Senate .....  Representative Headland tried to pass another amendment to the already heavily amended and hog housed bill on Confined
Animal Feeding Operations in the Senate Agriculture Committee.  Much testimony from The Farm Bureau Organization indicated very little changes were done by the amendments. 

NDTOA State Board Member Kerry Schorsch indicated two major changes in the proposal and Executive Secretary Ken Yantes also pointed out the absence of the authority for
Townships to determine location, scope and type of animals which were covered in the
bill before the amendments were proposed this time. 

Chairman Flakoll established a subcommittee to review these problems as brought to light by the townships. The subcommittee members Senators Heckaman, Behm and Wanzek agreed with the township concerns and offered amendments to the amendment to correct the found changes put forth by the amendments offered by Representative Headland. These amendments then passed the committee and the bill went to the Senate floor as amended.  Very little of the bills original intent existed and NDTOA could see no reason to oppose it further.  The Senate passed the amendments and the bill as amended. 

HB 1051                  Text
70332.0600    Fiscal Note FN-70332.0500
HB1051 The property tax relief bill with caps on local governmental entities was hog housed in committee this week and will probably be changed many times again before the session ends.  If the bill would quit changing colors like a chameleon, we might find something we could testify for or against but with the rapid changes we feel we haven't had a credible piece
of legislation we could work with.

That's about all from the Capital.


Legislative Report for week ending 3-16-07

Township Officers the following action was taken this
week in the legislature.

HB1321                 Text
HB1321 was heard in Senate Political Subdivisions
This bill would have reduced the extra-territorial authority of cities from 4 miles to 2 miles for the large cities in ND and to 1 mile for the smaller cities and to one-half mile for then smaller cities.  Larry and Barb attended the hearing and Larry testified in favor of the bill that will implement our policy passed in December of 2005.  Others testifying in favor of the bill were township officers from Stanley Township Cass County, Apple Creek township, written testimony from Beau Bateman, of Grand forks County, Officers from Ramsey County, and many Burleigh County township residents.  The Legislator that
introduced the bill, Representative Dwight Wrangham was very pleased to see the across the state support.

HB 1303             text
HB1303 passed the Senate as amended.  This bill will affect the assessment of agricultural property as it stands now.  It will allow the assessor to use a modifier of actual land use in his evaluating process.

HB1331              Text
HB1331 was passed out of the Senate by a 43 to 0 vote.
This bill allows the water board to remove obstructions in road ditches. We amended the bill to require permission from the road authority, notice to the road authority prior to the removal and the use of road construction standards during removal of the obstruction.

HB1344                 text - 70610.0200
HB1344 passed the house by a 92-1 margin was defended in the Senate Political Subdivisions Committee by Larry and will be in the Senate this next week.  The bill allows an owner of surface rights to petition the proper authorities to improve a section line road for agricultural purpose at the costs of the surface owner.

HB1386                   text - 70648.010
HB1386 passed the Senate by a 45 to 1 margin. 
This bill allows Township Officers to be paid for another 20 days of work in the township at $20 per day.  The maximum allowable cap on compensation was $600 and will be $1000 per year.  This bill has passed both houses and is awaiting the speakers signature at this time and then the Governor's signature before it is law.

HB1420                text  70766.0100
HB1420 the Farm Bureau backed bill on confined animal feeding operations was amended in the Senate Agriculture Committee again on Thursday March, 15th 2007 and Friday.  This bill has had so many amendments, and has been hog housed once and  then
more amendments on Thursday and again on Friday, that it is hard to recognize it from the original bill.

State board member Kerry Schorsch testified in opposition to the bill saying that township residents are best able to decide land use within their own townships and not the state health department.  Kerry also testified in opposition to the amendment that would limit
CAFO spacing authority of townships to one half mile while giving other entities up to two and one fourth mile CAFO spacing authority.

The amendments on Thursday did not meet with Township Executive Secretary Ken Yantes approval and he opposed them with a recommendation that  it be reworded to
increase township authority in location, scope and nature.  The amendments were successfully attached by a subcommittee and returned to the main committee with a due pass recommendation on Friday.

HCR 3061               text
HCR3061 is a resolution to study confined animal feeding operations over the next 2 years and bring a bill to the legislative council for consideration of a bill draft for the next session.

HB1446                   text - 70592.0100
HB1446  The excess mill levy increase for township governments will be a future effort for your lobbyist force in Bismarck.  Please urge your Senators to support this as it is the only funding increase possible for us this session.  It has passed the house.

HB1392                   text - 70632.0100
HB1392 would allow an increase in zoning penalties from $500 to $2000.  It has passed the house and needs your Senators support in the Senate this week, urge your Senator to vote for this bill.

By Ken Yantes

Township officers, I am back from Washington and busy
with ND Legislative work in Bismarck.  My partner
Larry Syverson was unable to be with me this week but
he has plans to come next week. I miss his efforts as
he is very good at the capitol and has a way with
preparing very believable testimony.

This weeks bill action on our policies began with:

HB1331              Text
HB1331 which would allow the water board to clean out
obstructions in  Township, County and State road
ditches.  We negotiated with the Water Boards and
amended the bill to read: water boards needed to get
authorization from the proper road authority before
removal could be done and that notice needed to be
given to the road authority of when and where removal
was to take place and that proper road construction
standards must be followed during removal work.  It is
important that we work together to get the water
problems handled  to the satisfaction of all of us.
This bill passed the Senate  Political Subdivisions
Committee by a Do Pass vote of 4 to 1 and should be in
the Senate next week.

HB1386                   text - 70648.010
HB1386 is a bill introduced by Rep. Gil Herbel to
allow township officers
to be paid for 50 days work done in the township at
$20 per day if they worked that many. This bill had
many second thoughts given to it by the Senators in
committee.  They were assured that NDTOA members would
not just put in for the extra days unless they had
documentation of their extra work done.  Senator
Curtis Olafson moved a DO PASS and the bill passed by
a 4 to 1 margin.  It should be in the Senate next week
for a floor vote.  

Please urge your Senator to vote
for both HB1331 and HB1386 as they are both bills that
we developed policy at our last annual meeting.

Next week's action in Senate Political Subdivisions
Committee will be ;
HB1392                   text - 70632.0100
HB1392  our bill which increases the township zoning
penalties from $500 to $2000.
HB1446 which would increase the allowable Excess mill
levy from 50% to 100%.

HB1344                 text - 70610.0200
HB1344 will be heard at 8:30 AM on 3-15-07  This bill
deals with townships allowing road building on section
lines, we have amended this bill and think it will be
alright to pass now.

HB1321                 Text
HB1321 will be heard at 10:15 on 3-15-07 and we need
extra help with this bill to pull back the 4 mile
extra-territorial zoning authority of the big cities
from 4 miles to 2 miles.  Please pass along the
information of this meeting to those who you think
would be interested. 

HCR3059               Text HCR3059
HCR3059 is a study resolution put in to study the
effects of extra-territorial zoning by cities.  It
will be heard on 3-16-07 at 10:00 AM

Senate Agriculture Committee has two Bills up this
week that are of great importance.

HB1420                text  70766.0100
HB1420 will be heard on 3-15-07 at 9:30 AM  This bill
was the CAFOS bill that was HOG HOUSED to a bill that
deals with county and township zoning districts.
It promises to be a big hearing and is scheduled for
the big hearing room, the Brynhild Haugland room.

HCR3061            text  73115.0100
HCR3061 will follow 1420 at about 11:30 AM this bill
is a study resolution to study confined Animal feeding
operations financial, environmental impacts and other
aspects of CAFOS in ND.  Townships will be affected
and we need input.

HB1469                 text  70808.0300
HB1469 will be heard in the Senate Natural Resources
Committee on 3-15-07 at 9:30 AM. This bill relates to
blocking established trails and roads for hunting

HB1319                  text  70476.0300
HB1319 will be heard on Friday the 16th of March in
the Senate Natural Resources Committee.  This bill
deals with the use of and liability for the use of
deadly force to protect yourself or your loved ones.
This promises to be a long and big hearing and is
scheduled for the Brinhild Haugland Room starting at

Until next week this is
Ken from the Capitol


Dear township Officers,

Most of the legislators have gone home and are not
going to return to the capitol to work until 2-21-07.
The House and Senate worked late the last few nights
and got the bills out of their house of origin and
into the other house.  Some of the late bill action to
mention to you is the failing of HB1335.  This bill
HB1335                 text - 70252.0100   fiscal note - FN-70252.0100
could have started farm home taxation but the House
members defeated it by a margin of 17 to 77.

HB1420                text  70766.0100
HB 1420 passed the House 75 to 16 after a series of
amendments including a drastic amendment that nearly
hoghoused it. This bill has crossed over to the Senate
and attempts to remove the authority of townships 
to regulate concentrated feeding operations as they relate
to health or environmental issues. This bill must be killed
if townships are to retain their land use authority.  
Call your senator Toll Free 888-635-3447 and
email:  Click here.

HB1331              Text
HB 1331 is a bill that started out to give the water
boards the authority to remove obstructions in
township ditches. We put 3 amendments on the bill to
allow the townships to have the authority to approve
the removal of an obstruction, the water board has  to
notify townships prior to any work being done and that
road site protection standards be in place for
liability purposes.  The bill passed 91 to 1. 

HB1344                 text - 70610.0200
HB1344 passes the house by 92 to 1.  This bill allows
a landowner to improve a section line road to get to
his property under certain circumstances.  We amended
this bill and testified in favor of it. 

SB 2331              Text  78341.0100
SB2331 is the companion bill to HB1420 
HB1420                text  70766.0100
which started out to reduce the  townships and counties ability to
enact environmental health laws in their respective
entities.  It was amended several times and finally
killed in the Senate by a 18 to 29 margin.

HB1480                Text  70733.0100        Fiscal Note FN-70733.0100
HB1480 would have required township assessors to send
out notices to landowners if their taxes were raised
by 7% or more was killed in the House by a 15 to 78

Your legislative arm is not resting;  Ken is preparing
for a State Board meeting which is set for February
24th.  Ken is preparing himself for a NATaT meeting in
Washington, DC from Feb. 26 to March 2.  There will be
meetings with Senator Conrad and Rep. Pomeroy on the
progress of legislation to exempt township officers
from payroll taxes. 

Larry Syverson and Chuck Thacker are  preparing to man
the legislative office and legislative effort in
Bismarck during Ken's absence.  We wish them the best
of luck as they go forward to represent 6000 township
members of the NDTOA.


Legislative report Feb. 9, 2007 

Dear Township Officers,

Your lobbyists have been struck with pretty bad colds but believe that we may be back to good health by Monday.  Thanks to President Thacker for leaving some cold medicine with us when he was here a couple of weeks ago.

The environmental zoning bills are a real problem, to those who have offered solutions, thank you.  It looks as if we may need some more.  Be advised that HB1335 could be a sleeping lion, please urge no vote on it.

Township bill action for the week of Feb. 5 thru 9, 2007.

SB 2331              Text  78341.0100
HB1420                text  70766.0100
SB2331 is the companion bill to 1420 which will take away the township officers right to zone for environmental issues in their township.  Both bills have been amended and much of what they started out to be is gone.   HB1420 has passed the committee by a 10 to 2 margin and SB2331 is expected to do the same in the Senate Ag Committee today.  We failed to get our
membership to these hearings.  Ken testified for the NDTOA and only one other member officer testified in opposition to the bill.  Thanks to Harvey Hope and Richard Flanders, Township Officers, from Cavalier County who will have traveled 600 miles to be here for
the hearing.  The Association of Counties had many commissioners testify in opposition along with their State President, Ken Tuebner, from Towner County. 
This bill will remove township and county authority over environmental issues and cede that authority to the ND State Health Dept.  This is an important bill.  Call or email your legislators to keep township and county authority over environmental issues!!  Click here to email your legislators:  Click here

HB1306                   text - 70506.0100
HB1306 would have allowed non resident land owners to vote in a township. It was killed in the house by a 12 to 81 vote.

HB1321                 Text
HB1321 is the bill that reduces the 4 mile extra-territorial zoning by  cities to a 2 mile limit.
The bill says that the limits be reduced to a mile for cities w/fewer than 5000 population, 1 mile for cities over 5000 and for  cities over 10,000 population a 2 mile limit on extra-territorial zoning be used.  However, those cities that have already expanded are grand fathered in. An interim legislative study committee was to be set up to further study the impacts of this bill.  This proposal was given a 9-5 do pass vote.

HB1331              Text
HB1331 would have given the water boards the authority to clean out our ditches.  This bill was amended to read that prior approval need be given by the township; that construction standards be used for liability purposes and that notice of any cleaning project be given to
the township prior to any work project starting.  This bill was given a 12-0 do pass recommendation and was agreed to by the water boards present.  Larry presented these amendments, testified for them and negotiated with the water boards on behalf of the NDTOA.  Hats off to him !!!!!!!

HB1335                 text - 70252.0100   fiscal note - FN-70252.0100
HB1335  will put taxation on Farm Homes.  This bill continued to be placed on the bottom of the list every day this last week.  We oppose this one, it has a 12-1 do not pass committee vote.  Please Call your legislators and urge a No vote on HB1335
Games are being played with this one.

HB1344                 text - 70610.0200
HB1344 is a bill that deals with a 3rd party constructing a road on the section line.  Your
lobbyist team insisted that township approval be given and that township construction standards be used and that liability during construction be assumed by the road builder.  This bill received a 12 to 0 do pass committee vote.

HB1386                   text - 70648.010
HB1386 is a bill that increases allowable township officer compensation from $600 per year to $1000.  This bill passed the House by a 76 to 17 margin.

HB1392                   text - 70632.0100
HB1392 is a bill that would allow townships to increase the penalties for zoning violations from $500 to $2000.  This bill passed the House by a 51 to 42 margin.

HB1446                   text - 70592.0100
HB1446  This bill started out to increase our general fund mill levy from 18 to 24.  It  was amended to give us the authority to increase our excess mill levy from 50% of our general fund levy to 100% of our general fund levy.  This bill passed by a 58-44 margin.

SB2275                  text - 70586.0100
SB2275  Our bill which would have brought in 4 million to townships for township roads failed to pass the Senate by a close margin of 22 to 24.

SB2208                  text - 70617.0100
SB2208 our bill on farm home exemption from taxation during disaster declarations was hog housed by Senator Cook.  He turned it into a bill to tax farm homes.  This bill was killed in the Senate by a 2 to 44 floor vote.  Your lobbyist team worked to kill this bill. 

SB 2331              Text  78341.0100
HB1420                text  70766.0100
SB2331 is the companion bill to 1420 which will take away the township officers right to zone for environmental issues in their township.  Both bills have been amended and much of what they started out to be is gone.   HB1420 has passed the committee by a 10 to 2 margin and SB2331 is expected to do the same in the Senate Ag Committee today.  We failed to get our
membership to these hearings.  Ken testified for the NDTOA and only one other member officer testified in opposition to the bill.  Thanks to Harvey Hope and Richard Flanders, Township Officers, from Cavalier County who will have traveled 600 miles to be here for
the hearing.  The Association of Counties had many commissioners testify in opposition along with their State President, Ken Tuebner, from Towner County. 
This bill will remove township and county authority over environmental issues and cede that authority to the ND State Health Dept.  This is an important bill.  Call or email your legislators to keep township and county authority over environmental issues!!  Click here to email your legislators:  Click here

Next week  ---- Floor action all week ----   from  Ken
and  Larry

Click here to email your legislators:  Click here

SB 2331              Text  78341.0100

We have learned that the companion bill, to take away zoning rights from Townships and Counties, has been scheduled for Thursday morning, February 8, 3007 at 10:30 a.m. IN THE BRYNHILD HAUGLAND ROOM. !!!!!!!

SB2331 will be heard at 10:00 AM on Thursday the 8th of Feb.

This is real important as the Farm Bureau had a room full of supporters for HB1420 (which was the companion bill heard last week and is in sub-committee now) and are calling for the same to return on the 8th to support SB2331.

Call as many as you can to urge attendance. Come if you can. If we loose this one we will not be able to defend our township residents on environmental issues.

Now, why is that the citizens of the great cities like Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks etc are seen to be knowledgeable enough to zone their cities as they fit to ensure the health and safety of their residents, but the "Rural Folks" aren't as capable?

Please take the time to call your legislators or come to testify on this important bill.


Legislative report February 2, 2007

HB1186                  text - 70209.0200
Asks for taxing districts to be allowed to
receive the uncontested part of a contested tax
abatement. Passed House  50 to 39.

HB1265                 text - 78279.0100
County water board and township co-operate with culverts
House passed bill 89 to 0.

HB1266                  text - 78280.0100
Increased the assessment drain assessments to $2 per  acre 
and the time of the assessment from 4 years to 6 years.
Passed house by 74 to 17.

HB1335                 text - 70252.0100   fiscal note - FN-70252.0100
Allows farm homes to be taxed ----- Received
12 to 1 do not pass from committee, House will vote

HB1280                   text - 70365.0200
Called for  $26.5 million  for county roads. 
Received a 7 to 5 do not pass committee vote.

HB1306                   text - 70506.0100

Would allow freeholders of property to vote in
a Township.
House Political Subdivisions committee voted do not
pass  12 to 0.

HB1386                   text - 70648.0100
Increases the allowable annual township
officers compensation cap from $600 per year to $1000.
 Bill is still in committee.

HB1392                   text - 70632.0100
Increases the township zoning violation
penalties from $500 to $2000 per occurrence.  Received
an 8 to 3 do pass committee  vote.

HB1420                   text - 70766.0100
Takes away the right of a township to zone for
environmental conditions and has been sent to a sub
committee for study.  Please urge the committee
members to vote to retain the rights of townships to
be able to control environmental conditions through
zoning. Committee members are
Mike Brandenburg, Craig Headland and Kenton Onstad.

HB1446                   text - 70592.0100
Increases the township excess mill levy cap
from 50% of your general mill levy to an allowable
100% of your general fund mill levy.
House Political Subdivisions committee gave it a 10 to
1  do pass vote.

SB2208                  text - 70617.0100
Is still being held in committee.  Rumors are
it has been amended to tax farm homes that are valued
at over $75,000. We urge killing this then.          

HB1321                 Text   
Had a good hearing in House Political
Subdivisions Committee on the first of Feb.  This bill
called for the extra-territorial zoning of cities to
be reduced from 4 miles to one mile. Township officers
from Grand Forks and Bismarck areas that were over
taken by the 4 mile city zoning testified as to how it
affected them in their townships.  Thanks to them for
their input to the committee hearing.  This bill is
still in committee and Ken has been put on a
Sub-committee to study the Extra-Territorial zoning
withdrawal effects.

 Bills to watch this next week  (2-5-07 to 2-9-07) are:

HB1331              Text
To be heard in House Political Subdivisions at
8:30 AM on 2-8-07.
This bill allows the water boards to clean township
ditches and bill the adjacent landowners.   Please
contact your Representatives on this committee and
urge a do not pass. 
This could be bad for us  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Come down and testify if you can on 2-8-07. 
If you have some comments, that you would like us to
present in testimony please get them to us as soon as

Other bills heard on the 8th of  Feb. are 
SB2270                 Text: 
relating to the valuation of residential and
commercial property by the State Board of

SB2271                Text    
Relating to requiring findings or statements
upon which zoning requests and subdivision plat
requests are disapproved.  These are both heard in
Senate Political Subdivisions in the Red River Room
and start at 8:30 AM.  on the 8th of Feb.

HB1453                  Text
Deals with abatement applications for tax
exemptions for new businesses and beginning farmer
status for the farm residence property tax exemption.
It will be heard in the House Finance and Taxation
committee in the Fort Totten Room at 9:30 AM on

January 26, 2007

Legislative report January 26, 2007

Township bills worked on in the Legislature week of
1-23-07 to 1-26-07

HB1335                 text - 70252.0100   fiscal note - FN-70252.0100
                 Allows farm homes to be taxed 
                  Ken and Larry
                  opposed (still in committee)
HB1186                  text - 70209.0200
                 Asks that the taxing districts be allowed to receive uncontested part of 
                 a contested tax abatement 
                  Larry supported                           
SB2208                  text - 70617.0100
                Farm Home Property Tax exemption retention during disaster declarations.      
                Larry and Ken supported    
                (still in committee)
HB1265                 text - 78279.0100
            County water board takes over culvert placement and sizing in township roads
            Larry insisted on amendments                                
            Larry and Ken negotiated.
            negotiated settlement passes committee)

HB1266                  text - 78280.0100
             Assessment drain is increased to $2 per acre              
             Larry supported
             (Passed committee and House)

HB1420                   text - 70766.0100
              Removes the environmental zoning Authority from Counties and Townships
               Ken opposed this Bill
HB1392                   text - 70632.0100
               Increasing the township zoning penalties from $500 to $2000     
               Larry and Barb testified in support
              (Bill is amended to $500 every 30 days)
               All worked on amendments

HB1446                   text - 70592.0100
               Increase township mill levy cap from 18 to 24.   
               Larry testified for this bill
               Bill Hog housed.
               (This bill is going to be amended to increase the 50% excess mill levy to
               100% excess mill levy capability)           
               All were  involved in the rewrite

HB1280                   text - 70365.0200
               Gives $60 million to the county for roads 
               Ken and Larry support

HB1306                   text - 70506.0100
               Freeholders to be electors voting in township.    
                Larry, Chuck and Ken Testify in opposition to this bill. 
                (this one looks like it will fail)

HB1386                   text - 70648.0100
               Increase allowable annual township officer compensation from $600 to $1000 for
               township officers. 
               Ken, Barb and Larry support this

SB2275                  text - 70586.0100
                $4 million grant to townships for roads out of general fund surpluses.
                Chuck testified for this one.    
           Township Officers,
This weeks
accomplishments in the legislative arena come from a
lot of hard work, long hours of study and the use of two
computers and printers manned by two operators.   Larry
Syverson brought his laptop from home and bought a new
printer to get the testimony done on time.
This week your lobbyist team worked to negotiate
settlements with Water Resource Boards, Political
Subdivision Representatives and Legislative Councils

State Water Districts Executives  were told that the
NDTOA would not defend our right to control our
ditches.  They presented a bill that would give them
the authority to locate, relocate, resize and install
culverts through township roads without any notice to
the township boards.  After a week of negotiation we
settled on the following and it was passed unanimously
by the Political Subdivisions Committee and sent to
the House floor for a vote on 1-26-07.    Water Boards
may install culverts in township roads as long as they
give 30 days notice to the township boards in which
the culvert is proposed to be placed.  The water board
must pay for the culvert and installation and secure
authorization from the township board before
installation can begin.  Failure to get authorization
results in a veto of the project by the township.

House Political  Subdivisions Representatives did not
receive the news of a mill levy increase from 18mills
to 24 mills very well.  Rather than loose the bill we
negotiated a hog housed version which will give
organized townships the authority to raise the excess
mill levy from 50% of your general fund mill rate to a
100% of your general fund mill rate.

I wish to thank the helpful hands and mind of
Legislative Council's John Walstad for all the legal
help he has been this legislative session.  He has
drawn up bills, amendments for bills and analyzed
existing century code and helped us determine the best
way to get what we want out of new proposed

Last week your lobbying team put out a request for
help in Bismarck, Barb and Chuck came to help.  I wish
to thank them both very much.  Out of the 6000 members
of NDTOA I had hoped for more.  Those of you that
help make resolutions, please remember, if we are to
implement them with legislation we need your input at
the legislative session.

Ken Yantes and Larry Syverson

January 19, 2007

Page 1 of 2
ND Township Officers Legislative Report 
3rd week 2007 Legislative Session  1-19-07
The following bills were introduced to implement our

2007 policy #1. Called for zoning violation penalties
to be increased from $500 to $2000

HB1392 was introduced by Representative Dennis
Johnson to support this.

2007 policy #2.  Calls for $4 million dollars out of
the general fund surplus funds to go to
townships for roads

SB2275 was introduced by Senator Elroy Lindaas.

2007 policy #3. Calls for waiving the 50% income
requirement for farm home exemption status in
disaster years

SB2208 was introduced by Senator Dave Oehlke. 

2007 policy # 5.  Calls for township officer
compensation allowable maximum levels to be
increased from $600 to $2500
We couldn't get support for the $2500 level so we
asked for $1000.

HB1386 was introduced by Representative Gil Herbel
which raises the allowable cap to the $1000 level.

2006 policy   Calls for the 18 mill general fund levy
to be raised from 18 mills to 30 mills
We could not  get support for a bill to raise it to
30 mills.

HB1446  was introduced by Representative Lee Kaldor
which calls for the 18 to be raised to 24 mills.

2006 Policy   Calls for extra-territorial zones
established by cities at the 2 and 4 mile
limits to be returned to a shorter distance

HB1321  was introduced by Representative Dwight
Wrangham to do that.

Past policy called for during tax abatement procedures
that the uncontested tax $ be paid
to the township and the balance could be withheld
until abatement procedures are complete.  

HB1186 was introduced by Representative Ole Aarsvold
to do just that.
Larry Syverson testified in favor and it has passed
the House of Representatives and is in the Senate
Committee now.


HB1306 has been introduced that calls for freeholders
to vote in townships.  This must be opposed.

HB1335 will take away the farm home property tax
exemption from farm home owners.  We have oppositional
policies on this one, also.

HB1420 goes a little too far when it includes any
agricultural activity in the bill wording,
 although it is a lessor degree of loss of zoning
authority than previous attempts.
We could support its attemps to have the State Health
Department in charge of the pollution regulations on
CAFO's but not any agricultural operation.                          

Township bills up in the Legislature week of 1-23-07
to 1-26-07

HB1335  9:30 AM   allows farm homes to be taxed      
   House Finance and              Taxation committee
            Fort Totten Room

SB2208   9:30 AM  Farm home property tax             
    Senate Finance and
                      exemption retention during    
        Taxation committee
                      disaster declarations.        
          Lewis and Clark room

HB1392  9:00 AM    Increasing the zoning penalties   
 House Political Subdivisions
   from $500 to $2000                      
Prairie Room

HB1446  9:15 AM   Increase mill levy from 18         
   House Political subdivisions
  to 24.                                          
   Prairie Room.

HB1306  9:00AM   Freeholders to be electors     
House Political Subdivisions
                                voting in township.  
                     Prairie Room

HB1386  9:15 AM  Increase allowable compensation 
House Political Subdivisions
                                From $600 to $1000   
                   Prairie Room

SB2275  9:30 AM   $4 million grant to townships      
 Senate Transportation
                               for roads.            
                             Lewis and Clark Room

January 12, 2007

The second week of the 2007 legislative session came to a conclusion today.  State board member Larry Syverson spent this week helping with the legislative effort.  This weeks action included the following:

The effort to increase township zoning violation fines from $500 to $2000 was introduced by Representative Dennis Johnson.  We secured  Republican Senators Robert Eberle and Jerry Klein and  Democratic Constance Triplett to sign on to this bill.  We were able to get 2 more House members,  C. B. Haas (R) and Stacy  Boe (D) to sign on with Republican Dennis Johnson to fill the needed 6 legislator slate on this bill. 

Senator Dave Oehlke (R) was the prime sponsor for our bill  to keep the farm home exemption.  Republican Senator Curtis Olafson, Democrat Senator Ryan Taylor, Democrat Representative Scot Kelsh, Republican Representative Mike Brandenburg
and  Township Officer Representative Kenton Onstad were all signers on the Oehlke Bill.

The 4 million dollars out of general fund surpluses to Townships bill has(D) Senator Elroy
Lindaas as prime sponsor and has (R) Senator Gary Lee (chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee). And a promise from Senator Herb Urlacher
(Chairman of the Senate Tax and Finance committee) to sign on this coming Monday.
House of Representatives signers include:  (R) Dennis Johnson,  (D) Lee Kaldor and  (D) Chuck Damschen.

Representative Gil Herbel was to be prime sponsor for the increase from $600 to $1000
maximum compensation for township officers.  There was a mix up between the Legislative Council and the Representatives desk and the bill did not get to the Representative until Friday morning.  The following legislators have signed on
with him: (D)Senator John Warner, (R) John Andrist, (R) Bill Kretschmar and others.

Larry Syverson was able to secure Representative Lee Kaldor (D) as prime sponsor for a raise of our general fund mill levy from 18 mills to 24 mills.  At this time no other  legislators have signed on this bill.


HB1306 has been introduced  that changes the voters in townships.  It would allow free holders of property to be voting members of the townships.  This means the hunting clubs that have bought land in the township now can subdivide it amongst its 50 members and they all can vote to have paved roads around their hunting grounds and have the snow removed every morning off their hunting trails.   IT CAN  HAPPEN !!!!!!!!  YOU NEED TO GET TO BISMARCK WITH AS MANY TOWNSHIP OFFICERS AS YOU CAN TO BEAT THIS LEGISLATION.

This bill could also allow non township residents to keep mill levies so low that townships wouldn't have enough money to maintain roads.

This legislation could also be used to circumvent township resident zoning authority and facilitate the placement of objectionable developments into your townships.  In other words, non township residents could vote to place "stink" projects in your township.  Projects like unwanted animal feeding operations, garbage dumps etc.


Here is the House Bill hearing date: Please come and testify against this bill 
1-26-07 Voting Qualification committee hearing date
HB1306  9:00AM   Freeholders to be electors     

House Political Subdivisions
                                voting in township.  
                     Prairie Room

Ken Yantes 1-701-250-5219  your Legislative office in




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