on Bill Number to see current status
here to contact your
Call your legislators: Toll Free 888-635-3447
(Scroll down to see legislative reports)
List of bills affecting townships (Click
on bill number to review):
Liability and immunity during disaster responses
Equalization meeting notices
Township ditch preservation
Undomesticated animal collision, reporting requirement
ACIR study of political subdivisions submitting budgets to state
Water development plans and legislative management study
Financial institutions tax and allocation to the political
Treasurer pay cap for townships - housekeeping bill
Requires townships to submit budget information
Regulation of political signs
Outdoor Heritage Fund
Statutory references to mills and property tax levy limitations
Property tax levy dollar increase limitations
Homestead tax credit for disabled veterans and renter credit
Oil and gas production tax revenue allocation to political
Game and Fish Department land purchases
Overweight permit for certain vehicles
Oil and gas production tax allocation and the impact aid program
Requirements for initiative, referendum and recall petitions
Reassessment of property that has been sold
Presidential executive orders review
Water districts exclusion of cities from water districts
Railroad crossings - Private or Public?
Property tax levies and change of references to mill levies
Township transportation funding
Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute funding
Overweight and oversize vehicle fees
Property tax bill
Challenges of notices of property tax assessments and increases in
Highway-rail grade crossing safety grants
Income tax reduction
Homestead property tax exemption
Emergency clause township funding
Building permits in townships
Farmstead tax exemption
Improvements to scenic roadways and roadways
Audit task force establishment
Township and county bridge rehabilitation
Property tax relief amount placement on property tax statement
State aid distribution fund allocations to political subdivisions
United Nations Arms Treaty
Senate Concurrent Resolution to establish an outdoor heritage fund
Debt limits of polical subdivisions
2013 Legislature general information:
2013 Legislative Assembly general information, including
Bills, journals, calendars, legislators, committes, deadlines,
live videos, roll calls etc
Legislative Bill Tracking System -
Dates and Deadlines of 63rd Legislative Session:
Contact your Legislator:
Find your legislative district:
2013 Legislative Reports
NDTOA Final Legislative Report
By Ken Yantes and Larry Syverson /
Directors of Inter-Governmental Relations
The 63rd Legislative Session
adjourned on the 80th day at 4:23 am having completed
its work and went into the record book as the longest since the
very first legislative session.
Your legislative team, President Larry
Syverson and Executive Secretary Ken Yantes, opened the
legislative office/apartment in Bismarck in early January of 2013.
Your Township Officers Association was present every day that the
legislature was in session.
The membership of the NDTOA at the 2012
annual meeting passed a resolution directing the legislative
committee to seek increased funding for townships, especially
those in the oil producing counties.
Prior to the beginning of the session,
Larry, Ken and Barb Knutson met with the other transportation
providers of our state. We established goals for the legislative
session that could provide reasonable future funding for each
entity and agreed to work together to accomplish these goals.
Now that the session is completed, it is
time to reflect on the accomplishments of our efforts. The state
budget for the next two years has been set at $13.7 billion. That
is a staggering amount of money, but if North Dakota government
lives within the set budget we should have $87 million left at the
end of the biennium.
Bills giving $850 million in property
tax relief, $200 million in individual income tax and $50 million
in corporate income tax cuts were passed this session. Part of the
property tax relief will come as a 12% credit against all property
taxes paid in the state - even the 1 mill for the UND Medical
Through the passage of
seems reasonable township funding has been secured.
a bill that contained the Department of Transportation’s budget.
$620 million was to go to the oil producing area for state highway
work and $100 million of funding for the non-oil producing
counties, cities and townships.
The need for early funding was
recognized, so the $720 million was cut out of
with an emergency clause and a fast track designation placed upon
it to get it passed and the money into the hands of the
infrastructure that needed it. This bill was passed by both houses
and signed by the Governor and distributed to the townships in the
non-oil producing counties in time to be included in their budgets
at their annual meetings on the third Tuesday in March.
This money was wired from the state
treasurers office on February 25 to the county auditors; all
townships in the non-oil counties should have gotten this
deposited to their accounts in early March. If not, there is a
problem at the county level that may need to be addressed.
With the passage of
townships in the oil-producing counties that receive less than $5
million in oil revenue from the state are to receive two $15,000
allocations -- one $15,000 allocation in July of this year and
another $15,000 allocation in May of next year. The oil-producing
county townships must meet the criteria of levying at least 10
mills for township roads in a taxable year after 2012 and have
some township roads within the township to service. The counties
that receive more than $500,000 but less than $5 million are
Bottineau, Renville, Golden Valley, McLean, Slope, and Ward.
The counties that receive less than
$500,000 were included in the non-oil disbursements in
earlier; included were Mercer and
states that if a county that receives $5 million or more in oil
funding in a state fiscal year, the townships of that county that
qualify may receive from the state treasurer three percent of the
gross production tax on oil. This would be distributed by the
state treasurer to the townships in proportion to the miles that
the township has to the county total township miles of road.
Another three percent would be
distributed to each township by the state treasurer in equal
shares with the other townships in the oil producing counties that
receive more than $5 million. The unorganized township
funding must be placed in a special fund and used only for the
roads in the unorganized township by the County
Commissioners. The counties that receive more than $5
million are Mountrail, McKenzie, Williams, Dunn, Bowman, Divide,
Stark, Billings, and Burke.
Much of our time was spent the last
month of the legislative session attending the many conference
committee hearings that could be held or cancelled at what seemed
to be at the drop of a hat.
a bill that clarifies the responsibility of a governmental entity
during declarations of a disaster regarding responses of financing
of repairs. This bill was created through coordinated action of
the Advisory Commission on Inter-Governmental Relations which the
NDTOA has been a long time voting member.
a new law that will exempt the driver of a motor vehicle from
needing to report an accident from a collision with an
undomesticated animal (deer).
allows the entity that controls the road to receive the fees from
the overloaded vehicle violations. The Senate passed this by a 45
to 0 margin and the House passed it by a 66 to 26 margin.
The passage of
moved the responsibility of township judges to challenge a voter’s
right to vote and placed the responsibility on the county auditor
and the ND Secretary of State.
A lot of money was placed in the Oil and Gas Impact
Grant Fund through the Board of University and School Lands Fund.
Section 8 of
placed $249,299,174 in the fund for the
purpose of oil and gas impact fund grants. As the Land Board
establishes programs and criteria for application, we hope to
receive this information and forward it to our membership so they
may be able to apply for the grants as they become available. Our
newsletter, the Grassroots Report, will have the latest
information in it as it becomes available.
Week 16 of the 2013 Legislative
The 2013 Legislative Session is expected
to conclude by next Thursday evening, April 30, 2013. The
leadership has told us that there are about 50 bills that remain
to be decided on.
are both being handled in conference
committees. Sections from one bill are being combined into the
other and vice versa. Duplicate language could be found in these
two bills and this justified some of the committee actions. These
two bills have considerable township funding in them but at the
present we don’t know what will continue or be lost in further
a bill that deals with oil extractions taxes, stripper wells,
stripper properties and Fort Berthold Tribal oil agreements with
our state. We have attended at least 6 committee meetings on this
bill and will attend at least one more tomorrow. The time for
settlement is close and the Legislators are still quite aways
apart from settling their differences.
the Water Commission budget bill. It includes $450 million for the
Fargo Flood Control Project. Representative Clark Williams from
Wahpeton defended the local rural residents from South of Fargo.
His remarks included: why hold water on farm land that has never
had flooding on it before? He passed out documents from the
township residents that were opposed to any flooding of their farm
homes and businesses.
In a temporary settlement with Fargo and
West Fargo legislators, amendments were attached to HB1020 that
would put off any construction for a year and that an agreement
with the Federal Government on who funds what and how much were to
be entered into before construction could begin.
Several attempts have been made to put
caps on local government entity funding bills.
twice but they have failed to pass.
The legislative team has been attending
fro2m six to ten of these conference committees per day.
a bill that allows a property tax credit on your homestead. People
that have income that is not in excess of $22,000 can get as much
as 100% of the taxable value of their homestead exempted up to a
maximum of $4500. The exemption is reduced in dollars as your
income increases. If your income is in excess of $38,000 the
maximum reduction is $900. If you have a homestead valued at over
$75,200 you are ineligible for this bill’s homestead credit. The
bill is still in conference committee and will likely be handled
Your Legislative Team,
Ken and Larry
April 19, 2013 Legislative Report
This week started off on Monday with a cancellation of the
Legislative Session due to the 19.5 inches of snow we had in a
weekend blizzard. The parking lot of the NDTOA Legislative
apartment/office had about 5 feet of snow piled up on it.
Where is spring????
Some of this week’s bill action took
place in conference committees as they turned bills that they
could agree on to their respective houses.
The House of Representatives and the
Senate would start business at 8:00 am and work until they had
most of the bills handled that came from the evening conference
committee’s efforts. The houses would go into recess and the
Legislators would go back to their conference committee’s and seek
to find agreement on more bills. The Senate and the House would
reconvene at 12:30 after noon lunch and act on the bills passed to
them by the Conference committee’s morning work and then recess
again. The Legislators would again return to their conference
committee efforts. The Houses would reconvene at 4:30 pm and be in
session until they ran out of bills and then adjourn until 8:00
am. The Legislators would return to their Conference committee
efforts again as long as they could take it in order to have a
list of bills for tomorrow morning.
Some of the bills that are in Conference
committees yet are:
are the funding bills for transportation and local entities.
We expected them to be close to the last ones to be finished up
and it looks like we are going to be right. They both have spent
some time in conference committees already. SB1358 has been on the
Senate’s 6th order for the last several days and that
is just one of the hurdles left; it will have to go through the
house again. SB2012 has had several conference committee meetings
and another one was scheduled for today which we attended. Several
sections of this bill met with agreement by the conferees but
about half of them did not.
passed the House as amended and was sent back to the Senate for
concurrence. This bill has over $700 million in property tax
relief for the citizens of our state over the next two years.
a bill that asks for a study on property tax levies. This bill is
in conference committee and has Senators Burckhard, Miller and
Triplett and Representatives Headland, Owens and Zaiser..
a bill that eliminated the financial institutions tax and
allocated it to the political subdivisions of our state. This bill
passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on 4-18-13 and has a 13
to 0 do pass recommendation. This should help to
increase the township state aid dollars if it passes and is
is the Extension budget which contains funding for the
Northern Crops Institute, the Upper Great Plains Transportation
Institute, Branch Research Centers and the Seed Farm. This bill
passed the Senate 46 to 0 after passing the Senate Appropriations
Committee by a 20 to 0 margin and then the House amended it and
sent it back to the Senate which refused to agree with the House
amendments so the bill went to conference committee.
Your Township Legislative Team,
Ken and Larry
April 12, 2013 Legislative Report
Township officers, the 2013 Legislative Session is nearing an end.
This past week the last of the bills were heard in their
There are quite a few bills left to be
voted on that were heard earlier in the session and then send them
to their houses for a floor vote. Many have already been sent to
the second house for their consideration. Should their second
house disagree with the decisions of the first house and
amendments to their bill are made, the bill goes back to the first
house. Should the first house disagree with the amendments of the
second house, conference committees made up of three members from
each house try to work out the differences. If they cannot,
another committee is appointed and they try to come to agreement.
Conference committee season is upon us
now and it is not easy to keep track of what committee is meeting
or where and when they are meeting. Many times your lobbyists must
rely on the grape vine system to be at the right place and the
right time to support the bills that affect townships.
is the bill that has a lot of funding in it for local
governmental entities. When it passed the House of Representatives
it had $1.258 billion in it. The Senate Finance and Tax committee
cut out a lot of the entities and reduced the bill to just over
$800 million. The townships in the oil producing counties that did
not get last session’s $10,000 cash payment or the $15,000 that
came from SB2176 earlier this session, but they would have
received $15,000 this year and $15,000 next year if the township
had less than $100,000 in uncommitted funds at the end of the 2012
year and if they were levying at least 10 mills for roads in their
township. The Appropriations Committees have restored some of the
funding but not all of it and they continue to disagree. We
continue to lobby for adequate funding for all townships, oil
producing or not.
another funding bill that has been changed and changed. It has
befallen disagreement from both houses. I would be surprised if
agreement is reached any time soon on this one. We will keep a
close watch on these funding bills.
A lot of tax relief bills have been
floating around this year. One of the most interesting remains to
This bill, if passed and signed, could bring a homestead credit of
$1000 for married couples and $500 for single tax payers. This
could bring about $123 million in property tax relief to property
tax payers on a state wide level.
is a bill that would have changed the statutory references
from mills to a decimal expression in numerals of number of cents
per dollar of taxable valuation equivalent to the number of mills
stated. It also had a 3% maximum mill levy increase for all
governmental entities. The bill failed by a 0 to 47 margin in the
was a bill that would have allowed road authorities to
issue overweight permits of up to 10% over the limits on local
road systems. This bill failed in the Senate by a 4 to 43 margin.
is a resolution passed by the ND House and Senate, signed by
the President of the Senate and the Secretary of State on 4-9-13,
that opposes the current form of the United Nations Arms Treaty
which infringes on the individual right to keep and bear arms.
April 5, 2013 Legislative Report
a bill which directs the State Water Commission to develop a
comprehensive water plan on a river basin perspective for the Red
River, James River, Mouse River, Upper Missouri River, and the
Devils Lake drainage basins. This study committee shall report to
the 64th Legislative Assembly. The Senate passed it by
a 47 to 0 margin.
authorizes an amendment to section15 of Article X of the North
Dakota Constitution to be submitted to the qualified Electors at
the 2014 General Election.
Bill action in the Legislature is slowly winding down. The
following is a report from this last week’s activities:
The amendment sets the debt limit of any
county, township, city, town, school district or any other
political subdivision never to exceed five percent of the assessed
valuation of the taxable property therein. The legislative
assembly may provide a lower percentage of indebtedness on
political subdivisions. This bill passed the House of
Representatives by a 59 to 33 vote margin.
a bill that allows disabled veterans to increase the property tax
on the buildings, fixtures and improvements of his homestead by
$6750 this year compared to the allowable $5400 in the past.
a bill that speaks up for the rights of citizens to hold and bear
arms. It asks our federal government to not adopt or be a part of
the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. This bill passed the House
of Representatives by a 68 to 25 margin.
a bill that passed the Senate by a 32 to 14 margin. It called for
a review of presidential executive orders. The President of the
United States executive orders which have not been affirmed by a
vote of the US Congress and signed into law as prescribed by the
Constitution of the United States should be declared an
unconstitutional exercise of legislative authority by the
President of the United States.
a bill that passed the Senate by a 30 to 16 margin that deals with
the eligibility of a voter to vote. It called for the repeal of
58-04-09 which was township law on the duty of township judges to
challenge a township voter. It also repealed the section of law
that allowed us to use an affidavit to confirm residency in the
We can now demand a driver’s license or
a non-driver ID issued by the ND DOT of any one we question.
Anyone without that ID showing an address in the precinct or
township can be refused unless someone can vouch for them.
The county auditor shall generate a poll
book for each precinct in the county from a central voter file by
the day before an election with all of the pertinent information
on each voter. This law is meant for township officers to use at
The law now requires that you prove that
you are qualified, with the proper ID, before voting so there will
be no questionable ballots in the box.
a bill that passed the Senate by a 45 to 0 margin that will allow
payment for property commandeered by a government entity during a
disaster or emergency declaration.
a bill that creates the ND Outdoor Heritage Fund. This bill is an
attempt to meet and discourage the initiated measure proponents
that wanted a similar change to the ND Constitution last year.
This language is a lot more palatable to the residents of North
Dakota. It also has a price tag of $15 million instead of the $100
million increasing to $300 million per year as the constitutional
proposal prepared last year.
This bill also forbids any purchase of
North Dakota land and any projects outside of this state.
worked on several times this week in the Senate Finance and
Taxation Committee and today (4-4-13) it was brought to the Senate
for approval of the amendments they had made to it. The bill
proposal as passed by the House of Representatives had $1.258
billion in it from oil tax revenue. It was to be distributed to
many local entities. The Senate Committee reduced the funding
level to $851 million by failing to fund some of the entities that
the House wanted to fund and then recommended a do pass, as
amended, with a 7 to 0 vote. In the Senate there was an attempt to
resist the amendments because of the deep cuts to funding. However
after a spirited debate the amendments were approved and the bill
was re-referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee for their
action. It will likely be heard in the Appropriations Committee on
Tuesday April 9.
March 29, 2013 Township Legislative
This week’s bill action consisted of the following:
SB 2101 Failed in House.
The bill would have allowed property owners to challenge
assessments with an appraisal from a qualified appraiser. Also, it
would have required notice to be sent if an assessment increased
$1,500 or more and to 5% or more than the amount of the last
assessment (current requirement $3,000 and 10%). The bill was
killed by a 3 to 89 margin.
Final Passage in the House by a 66 to 26 margin. This
bill allows that extraordinary road use fees go to the owner of
the road on which the overload occurs. This should result in more
overload enforcement activity at the county level and thus protect
township roads from a great deal of overloading. Also if an
overloaded truck is apprehended on a township road, the township
would get the fees to apply to road repairs. Note: Fees must go to
the road fund. It is on its way to the Governor!
is a bill that said if a petition for initiative,
referendum and recall was turned in to the Secretary of State they
would be considered filed and could not be returned to the
sponsoring committee. This bill passed the Senate by a 46 to 1
a bill that would have directed the assessor to mail out notice of
increased valuation to a taxpayer if property values were
increased by $1500 or more or 5% over last year’s assessment. This
bill failed in the Senate by a 20 to 26 margin.
is a bill that would give township zoning boards 60 days to
respond to a request for a building permit. This bill passed the
House of Representatives by a 92 to 0 margin.
a bill that would have allowed an optional enhanced driver’s
license for a fee of $45. This would have simplified border
crossing for those that have frequent need to cross; no other
document would be needed to return from Canada. It was sponsored
by Representative David Monson and it passed the House 74 to 17.
In the Senate the only supporter was Senator Joe Miller; 46
Senators voted against it.
Two big ticket bills still being worked on in committees and
watching these two is nearly a full time job. Both bills have
sections that address the disparity of funding for the oil-county
townships. Larry prepared a report for the House Committee on
SB2012 that shows that the oil county townships got shorted $25.5
million compared to the non-oil county townships since the 2011
session. We are also defending the $27 million bridge
rehabilitation amendment in SB 2012.
For some reason
in Senator Cook’s Senate Finance and Tax Committee. We have
explained the need to keep the section regarding township funding
intact to several committee members and the reception seemed
favorable from all. Once Senator Cook is done with HB1358, it will
have to get through the Senate Appropriations Committee, too. It
has yet a rough and rugged trail ahead. Both these bills need all
the support they can get; please call or email your legislators
and get your friends to do it also.
Township mileage payment: The
DOT projected budget for the coming biennium pegs our 2.7% of the
Highway Users Fund at $16 million or $8 million per year. Dividing
that out to 56,826 miles of township roads in the state, we should
get a little over $140 per mile per year. That would be $35 per
mile quarterly; last quarter’s payment was $39.70 and if that rate
holds we may well beat the forecast.
NDTOA Legislative Team,
Ken and Larry
March 22, 2013 Township Legislative
is a bill that needs your immediate attention. This bill will
be heard in the House on Monday or Tuesday. Extraordinary road use
fees for the violation of weight and length restriction must go to
the general fund of the jurisdiction having authority over the
road on which the violation occurred. Townships will get the fees
if the violations are done on township roads. It seems the right
thing to do but there is a lot of opposition. Shouldn’t the fees
go to the entity that has to fix the damage to their roads? Urge
your Representatives to vote for SB2025.
were heard together in the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee
as they both deal with property tax limits of 3% increase to all
This week in Bismarck found Ken and Larry busy with property tax
bills and always keeping an eye on the remaining road funding
HB1465 varies in that it will change the
statutory reference in NDCC and in county records from mills to
decimal reference in cents per dollar. What kind of confusion
would that create for us all? We opposed these two bills.
The Association of Counties testified
that to limit the mill levy increase to 3% could violate the voter
intent and that local voter decisions should not be overturned by
legislated actions. A question was surfaced asking if the local
voters shouldn’t be allowed to decide what services they want to
has not been passed out of the House of Representatives
yet and needs mention to your Representatives that it should be
passed as it still has a lot of funding left in it for townships
especially in the oil-producing county townships. One of the
sections of the bill contains $27 million for bridge
rehabilitation and reconstruction for all of North Dakota.
is another funding bill for townships and transportation
infrastructure. Urge your Senator to vote for it when it hits the
Senate. This bill has a lot of needed road and local governmental
entity funding in it.
passed the Senate by a unanimous 46 to 0 margin. This was a
housekeeping bill that clarified the township treasurer’s salary
is a bill heard in the House Finance and Taxation
Committee last week that would allow a taxpayer to hire a
qualified appraiser to challenge the true and full value of a
parcel of property if a tax payer disagreed with the assessor’s
valuation. If this appraisal is more than 5% lower than the
assessment, the board may: 1. Accept the appraisal; 2. Compromise
between the two values or; 3. Require a re-assessment under the
direction of the State Director of Assessments and at the cost of
the property owner; the value determined by this re-assessment
would be final and not appealable, this value cannot be greater
than the original assessment.
a bill that was heard in the House Transportation Committee that
provides $20 million for grants to Counties and Townships for
improvement in scenic roadways and roadways providing access to
recreational areas. The bill is still in committee but it looks
like it may pass if the funding holds out.
a bill that deals with the requirements for initiative, referendum
and recall petitions. It says that petitions are considered filed
and may not be returned to the sponsoring committee. The Senate
Political Subdivisions Committee gave this bill a 6 to 0 Do Pass
Your Legislative Team,
Ken and Larry
March 15, 2013 Township Legislative
The after Crossover bill rush is on;
this week’s action included:
the House version of property tax credit for home owners. It was
heard in the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee and likely will
be held there until most other tax bills are heard so combinations
of legislator’s ideas can be included in a large bill later on in
is a bill that exempts drivers from reporting accidents
with undomesticated animals if the damage results to the drivers
vehicle only. The accident does not need to be reported regardless
of the amount of damage done to the vehicle. This bill passed the
House of Representatives and the Senate also gave it unanimous
Is a bill that changes the oil severance tax rates and
laws. The Senate Finance and Tax Committee heard this 19 page bill
on 3-11-13 and appeared to be happy with the changes in the
stripper well laws but failed to vote on it.
was a bill that would create and enact a new section to article X
of our ND Constitution that would establish an outdoor heritage
fund and Committee. The original bill directed 4% of the total
revenues from the oil and gas production extraction taxes to be
administrated by an outdoor heritage commission. One hundred
million dollars a year was to be put into this fund and
administered by the fund commission. If this was approved by the
voters the measure would expire in 2039. The bill failed to pass
the Senate by a 10 to 36 margin
is a transportation funding bill that contains many
provisions. One of them sets up $27 million to be used to
reconstruct and rehabilitate county and township bridges. This
funding cannot be used for routine maintenance. The funding may be
used to provide 90% of the cost for approved projects which
include the costs of engineering and plan development.
also has $142 million in it for the oil and gas producing county
and township road reconstruction program.
This bill also includes $10 million for
counties and townships in the oil and gas producing counties to be
distributed at $15,000 to each organized township and $15,000 for
each unorganized township to the county in which the unorganized
township is located.
The sections I have mentioned have an
emergency clause attached to them and will become effective as
soon as the bill is passed and signed by the leadership. At
present the bill is in the House Appropriations Committee and will
undoubtedly take quite a long time.
Grant Levi, the Interim Director of The
the Government Operations Division of the House Appropriations
Committee on Monday: it was a full day, less about an hour for the
House floor session. There were opportunities for comment, Larry
emphasized the importance of the rural bridge rehabilitation
section and the townships in oil-producing counties section while
stating NDTOA support for the entire bill. The committee was
informed that the funds for townships should be directed to
townships as the plan for grants through the counties rarely
provides any funding to townships, section 8 of this bill does
is in the House of Representatives Finance and Tax
Committee and will be there for awhile. It pertains to the
homestead property tax credit and there are many other similar
bills to be heard yet. They will likely be combined to make one
is a bill that adds the wordage to the notice of tax
equalization meetings that a tax payer has the right to appear
before the board of equalization for correction of the tax payer’s
This bill has passed the house by a 86
to 0 margin and has been sent to the Senate Finance and Tax
Committee but has not been voted on in the Senate yet.
was heard in a jam packed Brynhild Haugland hearing room
on 3-11-13. This is a bill on distribution of the oil and gas
severance taxation to local political subdivisions in oil and gas
producing counties. Both the oil producing and non-oil producing
townships in the oil producing counties will receive $15,000 per
year for the next two years if this bill passes. The total dollars
to those townships could be $8,760,000. In order to be ineligible
for funds your township must not have $100,000 or more of
uncommitted funds on hand or if your township is levying less than
10 mills for road maintenance efforts. A township must be
maintaining some roads in the township in order to qualify for
Many other governmental entities will
qualify for funding from
The Commissioner of University and School Lands is to get $5
million to provide distributions to eligible counties experiencing
new oil and gas development activities beginning on July 1, 2013
and ending on June 30, 2015. The Commissioner shall provide $1.25
million to the county and the county shall consider and address
the needs of other political subdivisions in the county as a
result of the impacts of oil and gas development. Some of the
other entities receiving funding are Fire districts, Schools,
Emergency Medical Services, Sheriff’s departments, Cities, Job
Services of ND, the Energy Infrastructure Impact Office,
Hospitals, Nursing homes, Basic care facilities and many more will
be affected by the passage of this comprehensive funding bill. It
has passed the House of Representatives and was in the Senate
Finance and Taxation Committee this last week. The main sponsor
for this bill is Representative Bob Skarphol from Tioga and many
other legislators have co-signed in support of his bill. HB1358
will spread the benefits of oil and gas funds across the entire
state providing money for things like EMS services and money for
is a bill we asked to be introduced to correct a two word typo
from last session. It was passed by a 6 to 0 Margin in the Senate
Political Subdivisions Committee on 3-15-13 at 9:12 AM. The typo
was created by leaving the two words "up to" out of the sentence
58-08-01 that clarifies the salary of
the township treasurer.
a bill that has passed the House and has been heard in the Senate
Finance and Taxation Committee which states that when any assessor
increases the true and full value of any lot or tract of land by
one thousand five hundred dollars or more and to over five percent
or more than the last assessed valuation the amount of increase
must be delivered to the property owner in writing. It looks like
this bill may pass.
Remember March 19 is the 3rd
Tuesday in March…Annual Meeting Day! Have a good one!
NDTOA Legislative Team,
Ken and Larry
March 8, 2013 Township Legislative
Township officers, this is the first
report after the 2013 Crossover period. We started the 9th
week’s work on Wednesday, the 6th of March.
was heard in the House Finance and Taxation Committee. This
bill is one of the Senate’s best bills relating to property tax
credit through depositing the state’s share of oil and gas taxes
for state funding to school districts for mill levy reduction
grants. The bill also set up a property tax credit of $25,000
reduction on your primary residence. The bill will set up $403
million of our states excess general fund to the mill levy buy
is the House of Representatives preferred bill on property tax
relief. It closely resembles what we have had in the past, which
includes $147,600,000 in state paid property tax relief credits
a bill on animal cruelty penalties, was heard on Thursday,
March 7 and it drew a large crowd of testifiers and observers.
Dennis Johnson, Chairman of the House Ag Committee, held the
meeting in a jam packed Brynhild Haugland hearing room. The
committee has not voted on the bill at this time.
Hearings for two bills that deal with
the ND Outdoor Heritage Fund were held on Thursday, March 7.
needs oil tax funding of 8% of the money available in NDCC
57-51-15 but not to exceed $15 million per fiscal year or $30
million per biennium. These funds cannot be used to finance
projects outside this state This bill was to put funding into the
oil and gas impact fund, but not in excess of $100 million per
biennium. This bill was not voted on this day. It has a 12
member advisory committee
The second bill, (SCR4027)
that dealt with the Outdoor Heritage Fund, would set up in the ND
Constitution under Article X a $100 million per year to the
Outdoor Heritage Fund out of the oil tax funding. This fund must
be used for grants to state agencies, tribal governments, local
governments, political subdivisions and nonprofit organizations
for wildlife purposes. This proposal would have a 12 member
commission to govern its activities. This was given a 5 to 2
DO NOT PASS RECOMMENDATION.
Upcoming events for the week of
3-11-2013 through 3-15-2013 include:
9:00 am hearing in the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee
property tax credit bill.
9:00 am hearing in the House Appropriations Committee, DOT and
other Transportation provider funding bill (including township and
county bridge funding amendments).
Homestead Tax credit on property tax bill. 9:00 am on
3-11-2013 in House Finance & Tax (Fort Totten).
9:00 am on 3-13-13 in Senate Finance and Tax Committee. This
is the most comprehensive oil and gas production distribution to
political subdivisions offered this session
2:00 pm on 3-14-13 contains the budget for the Upper Great
Plains Transportation Institute.
9:00 am on 3-15-13 in Senate Political Subdivisions Committee;
this bill is the correction of NDCC on the Township Treasurers
is a bill passed by the Senate by a 46-0 margin which will
increase township state aid funding. It is being held up in the
House Finance and Tax committee at present.
March 1, 2013 Township Legislative
We have reached the Crossover recess and
all bills must be voted on in their houses of origin and sent to
the other house.
.It has been very busy the last 8 weeks
for your legislative team. We had several grassroots passed
resolutions that needed legislative action to correct the local
problems. One of the first indicated we were to work to increase
funding for townships. Last legislative session we were able to
secure a cash payment to the townships in non-oil-producing
counties of $10,000. This Session we supported a bill (SB2176)
which secured $15,000 for each township in the non-oil-producing
county townships. In addition to that we were successful in
helping to get another $16 million increase to our quarterly
payment from the Highway users fund for road maintenance.
is the bill that allowed these 2 increases and it passed the
House and Senate unanimously and on 2-4-13 the Governor signed it.
The funds should be in your accounts by this time. The $15,000 had
to be reduced to $14,716.70, due to an accounting error in Morton
County but it is still a good chunk of change, the difference will
be made up later. The $16 million was divided out on a basis of
$375.38 per mile on your maintained miles list. Also, your share
of the state aid dollars should go up this year if the house
agrees with the $500,000 increase granted by the Senate.
We have been suggesting since before the
beginning of the Session that townships in the oil-producing
counties were shorted last session when they did not get the
$10,000 payment that the rest of you got, and many of those
townships don’t get any of the oil revenues either. We repeatedly
spoke of the damage from exploration and extraction of oil and no
funding to repair those damages. Representative Bob Skarphol from
which, if passed by the Senate as written, should help them. It
sets up $8,760,000 for distribution to the oil-county townships.
The bill states that the state treasurer shall distribute the
funds as soon as possible to the counties and the county treasurer
shall allocate the funds to or for the benefit of the townships in
oil-producing counties through a distribution of $15,000 each year
to each organized township and a distribution of $15,000 each year
for each unorganized township to the county in which the township
is located. The funding must be distributed in equal amounts on or
before May 1, 2013 and May I, 2014 in the oil-producing counties.
On the Senate side an amendment
introduced and attached to
Senator Bill Bowman will raise the similar funding for the
oil-county townships. Both bills may not pass but their ideas
certainly will be continued.
In the same manner, bills have been
introduced to increase the funding to the energy impact office and
one is sure to pass, be sure to apply if you have oil and gas
impact damage in your township.
the original DOT funding bill, has $142 million in it for
oil-producing counties and township road reconstruction programs.
This bill passed by a 47-0 margin and is expected to be passed by
the House of Representatives.
Both the House and the Senate have many
bills on property taxation and it is pretty hard to say which ones
will survive the second half of the session. It seems that most of
them have a statement regarding the amount of property taxes that
the state reduced due to the buy down of school mill levies with
state money. A lot of them mention proposals of setting a limit on
mill levy increases to the 3% level. In a surprise move today the
which is a bill that would set aside $20,000,000 to improve county
and township scenic roadways and roads providing access to
recreational areas. The bill passed by a 30 to 17 margin on
2-28-13. The house may see it differently.
a bill that relates to property tax levies and includes change of
references to mill levies. It states that the Legislative Council
shall change all reference to mills in the property tax laws to a
decimal expression in numerals of the number of cents per dollar
of taxable valuation equivalent to the number of mills stated
These are just some of the bill actions
out of about 1,000 bills and resolutions introduced this 2013
The bills that have been stated as
passed means that they were passed out of their houses of origin
unless they had an emergency clause attached to them as was the
The emergency clause makes them become effective immediately after
the leadership signs them.
There were a lot of good bills and bad
bills introduced and somehow we work to get the bad ones killed
and the good ones passed as we have done for many years.
Your Directors of Inter-Governmental
Ken and Larry
February 22, 2013 Township Legislative
which is the Department of Transportation funding bill.
We heard many proposals but when the committee decided which ones
they wanted it really didn’t take very long to put it together.
This week we attended many Senate Appropriations Committee
meetings. Our main concern was what kind of amendments were going
to be put on
Senator Bowman’s $10 million grant
program amendments for the Western oil-producing county townships
Senator Wanzek’s proposal for $27
million for township and county bridge rehabilitation and
reconstruction was amended into
Senator Wanzek withdrew his $25 million
for the Eastern ND townships and another $10 million for the
oil-producing Western county townships. He felt he was asking for
an awful lot of dollars from the states treasury this session.
Several other amendments were added and the bill was given
complete approval by the Senate Appropriations committee. It is on
its way to the Senate for their action now.
passed the Senate by a 46-0 margin and has been sent to the House
of Representatives for their consideration. If this bill becomes
law, it will provide funding for the State Aid Distribution Fund.
It will be a continuing appropriation for counties and townships
into the future and should increase the present state aid by a
was a bill that demanded that political subs (counties or
townships) make a decision on the 8770 railroad crossings in North
Dakota as to whether the crossings were private or public. If
townships made the decision that a crossing was private, the
trains would not have to blow their whistles before crossing.
Should there be an accident at a crossing because the train didn’t
blow its whistle, then the township would be liable for deciding
that the train didn’t need to blow it’s whistle. We testified that
townships did not need or want the legal responsibility for a
possible accident. The committee voted 10-1 for a Do Not Pass and
the House voted 8 to 83 to kill the bill. Representative Dennis
Johnson, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, deemed it an
unnecessary piece of legislation.
was a bill that the House of Representatives voted to defeat
by a 41 to 48 margin. It called for townships and other political
subdivisions to send into the State Data Base copies of their
annual budgets. After 4 days of lobbying the House members, we
were successful in getting the bill killed. However, the
leadership turned the idea into a legislative management study for
the ACIR interim committee to study in the next interim period.
This proposed study is found in
it passed by 86 to 5 margin.
passed in the Senate by a 46-0-1 margin on 2-22-13. This was a
large funding bill for many NDSU programs including the Upper
Great Plains Transportation Institute, the University Extension
Service Research Center and Agronomy Seed farms.
one of the main property tax bills submitted by the Interim Tax
Committee. It passed the Senate by a 46-0 margin. This bill deals
with deposits of the state’s share of the oil and gas taxes and
property tax relief through allocation of state funding to school
districts for mill levy reduction grants for all property owners.
(the farm home tax exemption bill) lost in the
Senate today; the vote was 14-36-1. Farm homes will still be
exempt from property taxes but for how long remains to be seen.
a bill that allows a homestead property tax credit. It did pass
the Senate by a 46-0 margin.
was submitted and defended by Senator George Sinner. SB2362
was a $800 million property tax reduction bill but it was defeated
by a 14-32 margin.
a bill that will compliment some of our township road ditch
preservation laws. It speaks to correcting damage to a ditch by
the landowner. The bill passed the House and is now in Senate
bill that does away with the requirement to report a collision
with an undomesticated animal such as a deer. It passed the Senate
Transportation Committee so it just needs to go through the Senate
Very important Bill -
The DOT funding bill will be voted on in the Senate on 2-25-13.
This bill includes considerable funding for townships.
Urge a DO PASS to your Senator on
which is the House of Representative’s main bill on the
distribution of oil and gas taxes to political subdivisions. It
was introduced by Representative Bob Skarpohl from Tioga and has
comprehensive funding for oil-producing counties political
subdivisions within it.
Urge a DO PASS to your Representatives
Ken and Larry
February 15, 2013 Township Legislative
Bill introduction deadlines have come and gone. The referral of
bills to the Appropriations Committees have also passed their
The Legislature still has a lot of bills
to handle before the March 1st Crossover date.
Following are some of the bills heard
allows cities to be excluded from Water Districts. On the surface
it seems that the rural areas would be picking up the total cost
of supplying the cities with water BUT after reading the whole
bill it seems that there has been a compensation figure arrived at
which seems to be fair for all.
a bill that the NDTOA testified in opposition to as the bill seeks
to transfer liability from railroads to counties and townships.
The bill states that the local governmental body of a political
subdivision shall determine if a railroad crossing is a public or
private crossing. Certain crossings require a train to blow their
whistles and others do not.
If townships had to determine which
crossings needed a whistle warning and which did not, it could
result in legal problems if someone was hurt or killed at a
crossing that the township decreed a whistle warning was not
NDTOA testified that township officers
did not need the extra work of deciding which crossing needed a
whistle warning and which did not. We, therefore, did not need the
legal responsibility of making the decision either. Questions were
raised by committee members as to whether townships would have to
sign those crossings also. The answers were unclear.
On Friday Feb. 15, 2013 the House
Agriculture Committee voted 10 to 1 do not pass
Please urge your Representatives to vote no on this bill when it
gets to the House floor.
passed the Senate Transportation Committee with a 7 – 0 Do Pass
recommendation. This bill will take 1% of the Highway Tax
Distribution Fund for Highway Rail Grade Crossing safety projects
– not to exceed $4 million per biennium. This money is to be used
for projects such as the development of Railroad Quiet Zones,
installing or upgrading warning devices, crossing surfaces,
relocating crossings, building grade separations, eliminating
sight distance obstructions and other projects of the Federal
Highway Safety Improvement program.
Past policy of the NDTOA has been to
oppose any highway distribution tax reductions. This bill would
not affect the township share of the fund as it takes the 1% from
the State’s share of the fund. The Senate Appropriations Committee
heard this bill on Thursday, the 14th, and is still
holding it without a recommendation one way or the other
the appropriation for county and township bridge rehabilitation
and reconstruction program. It has been amended down from
$95,700,000 to $27 million and includes $350,000 to fund future
Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute projects of
infrastructure needs for county and township bridges. We see this
as a very useful study; we support
and the needed upgrading of our bridges.
URGE YOUR SENATORS TO VOTE YES ON
another tax relief bill that was heard in the Senate Tax Committee
this week. Senator Dotzenrod explained the 8 page bill to the
committee members. It contained up to $150,000 exemption of true
and full value of all new single family, condominium and townhouse
residential property. The bill allowed 40% of the property tax
paid in 2012 as an exemption for future property taxes on
residential, agricultural, mobile homes and centrally assessed
Railroad owners operators or lessee’s
were also to have the 40% exemption along with Air Carrier
Many bills on tax relief have been
introduced and most are being held by their committee chairmen.
This is just one. All bills must be heard in their House of Origin
by Crossover time which is Friday March 1.
also included placement at how much the legislative property
tax relief dollar amounted to for the preceding year on your
property tax statement.
a major comprehensive funding bill for governmental entities in
western North Dakota. Rep. Skarphol introduced it and explained it
to the House Finance and Tax Committee. They gave it a unanimous
14 – 0 Do Pass recommendation on Thursday, February 14.
A joint meeting of the House and Senate
Appropriations committees was held in a fully packed Brynhild
Haugland room last week. Governor Dalrymple and his staff
presented a legislative revenue forecast report. The report showed
a 1% reduction in the state’s income from the last quarterly
report. The last report was a new high from any other before and
North Dakota is still growing at a very high rate. Sales and Use
Taxes lead the list of income revenue at $2,161,188,016.
the DOT funding bill, is still in the Senate Appropriations
Committee. We attend weekly meetings every Tuesday, after the
Senate adjourns for the day, to sit in on the discussion of
Many amendments were put on this bill and now no other amendments
can be added.
was a bill that directed townships to send their financial
budgets in to a state budget data base. Today the house voted 41
to 48 to kill this bill. We had worked very hard to inform the
members of the House of Representative that townships should not
have to do this. We were successful in defeating this bill and now
townships will not have to send another form in to the state.
Your Legislative team,
Larry and Ken
February 8, 2013 Township Legislative
On Monday Feb. 4 Representative Bob
Skarphol presented and defended
House Finance and Taxation Committee. This is his bill on funding
infrastructure in Western North Dakota oil country.
comprehensive funding for Schools, Counties, Cities, some
Townships, Medical Services, County Law Enforcement and Fire
One of our funding bills (SB2176)
has received unanimous votes in the House and Senate and was
signed by the Governor and Secretary of State on the afternoon of
Feb. 4th. There was an emergency clause attached to the
bill which means it will take effect immediately and all townships
in the non-oil producing counties will get a share of the $16
million increase in the dollars that we were receiving on a
quarterly basis from the Highway User Funds on a per mile of
township serviced road.
Non-oil producing county Townships will
also receive a $20 million distribution of $15,000 for each
township. This funding should be out within the next two weeks.
Check with your bank to see if the electronic fund transfer for an
even $15,000 has arrived. Of the funding that is left over from
the $20 million, townships will get 20% of the overage added to
the Highway Users Distribution quarterly payments based on the
miles of roadway that they are servicing.
Remember when we were getting the one
cent gas tax that amounted to $70 per mile per year? Please remind
your membership about this one.
Senator Terry Wanzek has introduced
which had $95,700,000 in it for county and township bridge
rehabilitation and reconstruction. Larry and Ken attended the
hearing on this bill and supported passage of it. Senator Wanzek
forwarded an amendment that reduced the bill to $25 million
instead of $95,700,000 but the committee amended the amendment up
to $27 million and passed it unanimously 7-0.
Larry and Ken have been in regular
attendance of the Senate Appropriations Committee. We still have
an interest in the outcome of
(the NDDOT budget bill). Recently two interesting amendments were
The first one was by Senator Bill Bowman and it called for $10
million to go to townships in the Western oil producing
counties on a $15,000 per township basis.
Senator Terry Wanzek submitted another
grants another $10 million to the Western oil producing counties
for distribution of $15,000 per each township.
Senator Wanzek also included in his
amendment another $25 million to all counties and townships
in North Dakota for township road maintenance through the
distribution formula which is used for the Highway Users
One of the resolutions passed at the
2012 annual meeting directed us to seek increased funding for
townships in the Western Oil Producing County and we have done
a bill that required the establishment of an audit committee,
consisting of from 9 to 15 members, to audit all political
subdivisions. We spoke in opposition to this audit committee’s
establishment as townships have their own audit committee. The
legislative committee voted a unanimous 6 to 0 do not pass and the
Senate killed the bill by a 3 to 44 margin.
a bill that requires the ND Game and Fish Department to give
notice of the intent to purchase land to every land owner within
one mile of the boundary of land proposed to be appraised.
originated from a purchase of 1800 acres in Northern Ramsey County
that was purchased without notice to the local folks.
The Director of the ND Game and Fish
Department shall send notice to the governing body of a city,
county or township if the land appraisal for acquisition is within
12 miles of the entity. The Director of the ND Game and Fish shall
publish in the official county newspaper once a week for two weeks
the appraisal proposal.
would require townships to submit their budget information to a
state database. This bill received a do pass in the House
Political Subdivisions Committee today.
In upcoming attractions for next week:
On Monday, 2-11-13
will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee. It sets up
$20 million to improve scenic roadways and roadways to
recreational areas. This bill will be heard at 9:00 AM in the
directs the local tax assessor to reassess a parcel of property if
it sells at a different price than it was appraised at by the
local assessor. This bill was given a do not pass by the Finance
and Tax committee and is expected to fail the house.
a bill that directs the governing body of a subdivision to, if
requested by a private property owner, make a determination if the
Railroad crossing is a private or public crossing. This bill will
be heard at 9:00 AM on 2-14-13 in the House Agriculture Committee.
Your Legislative team,
Larry and Ken
February 1, 2013 Township Legislative
This morning I testified in opposition
HB1256 which insists that all
townships send in their financial reports to the state data base
just like last sessions bill demanded we do. I hope that it will
be killed in future committee work. Please pass the word along
that it should be killed .......
establishes a audit committe to come around and audit the
transportation spending in townships ......urge a no vote on this
bill also .....This is very important .....
The most important legislative bill that
is in the legislature for townships remains to be the funding bill
passed the House 88-0-6 today. It is on its way to the Governor.
By the next week’s report we should be able to report to you and
say it has been signed by the Governor. It has an emergency clause
attached to it so it will become law as soon as the Governor signs
it. The funds should be in your Bank account by mid-February. The
first payment should be an even $15,000. Check with your bank to
This last week I testified in favor of
which has the potential of securing $44 million for the organized
townships in North Dakota. This funding will go to the counties
but townships must apply with specific project plans and cost
estimates of the projects you want to accomplish.
introduced on the last day of the Senator’s bill introduction
period. It would set aside $95,700,000 for county and township
road bridge rehabilitation and reconstruction programs in our
state. $66,170,000 can be used for bridges in serious condition
and $29,530,000 is to be used for the bridges in critical
condition. The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute study
on county and township bridges indicated that to fix all county
and township bridges in ND it would take about $300,000,000.
introduced by Representative Scarphol, is a comprehensive funding
bill for governmental entities in the Western oil producing
counties. It is being held in the House Finance and Taxation
Committee. This bill addresses the funding needs for all townships
in the oil producing counties. Very few bills speak to the needs
of the non-oil producing townships in the oil patch. We know that
most of them have the road damage from exploration and oil well
service delivery. This bill, if passed, would help them all.
a bill that would require the Game and Fish Department to notify
local governmental units (counties and townships) of the proposed
land acquisitions before it is made. Last summer an 1800 acre
acquisition was made in Ramsey County without prior approval by
the residents or their local governmental agencies. This bill
would help to create sharing of information prior to the purchase.
a bill that passed the House of Representatives unanimously. It
requires that townships and cities place two notices of the
meetings of the boards of tax equalization in their local
newspapers prior to the meetings. These notices must contain a
statement that tax payers have the right to appear before the
boards and seek correction of the tax payer’s property tax
A couple of township house cleaning
bills were heard in committees and unanimously passed to their
respective houses. The first one,
was a two word omission in last sessions compensation for
township treasurers and the next one (SB2180)
was the setting of 60 days as a time limit for township zoning
boards to act on a building permit.
relates to the regulation of political signs with counties and
townships being prohibited from restricting sign placement. Be
advised that the restriction pertains to signs on private property
-- not township rights of way. We still regulate the signs on our
road side rights of way.
January 25, 2013 Township Legislative
the main transportation funding bill for the ND DOT, Cities,
Counties and Townships. This bill was introduced for the first
hearing in Senate Appropriations Committee and it was divided into
two parts. The first part set off was called
it had $620 million dollars in it for the North Dakota Department
of Transportation for state highway construction and maintenance.
The second inclusion in
to set $100 million to fund Cities, Counties and Townships.
A sixteen million dollar grant was to go
to the townships in the non-oil producing counties on a per mile
of township road serviced by the township.
In addition $20 million was to go to the
Counties and Townships in the non-oil producing counties through
the distribution of $15,000 to each organized township and a
distribution of $15,000 for each unorganized township to the
county in which the unorganized township is located.
If any funds are left over from the $20
million allocation after the $15,000 distribution has been made,
then 20% of the remainder goes to the townships in per mile
payments as set up in the first $16 million distribution
This means that the North Dakota
Department of Transportation’s $620 million and the townships $16
million and our share of the $20 million distributed at the
$15,000 per township are all in the
On Thursday, January 24th the
Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee reported to the
full Senate that his committee had voted a 13 to 0 do pass
urged the full senate to do the same.
The Senate voted a unanimous 47 to 0 in
favor of passage of
with an Emergency measure attached which means if the House of
Representatives passes this bill it will become effective as soon
as the Governor signs it.
It looks like the funding will be in
your checking accounts in early Feburary. This is what Governor
Jack Dalrymple and the Legislative Assembly wanted to see happen
so the Eastern ND townships could get a jump start on the 2013
road maintenance season.
SB2012 still has $142 million in it for
the Western North Dakota oil producing counties and townships for
road rehabilitation and reconstruction but their funding probably
will not get there until after the first of August 2013.
There are several other amendments being
proposed for attachment to
One would include a $15,000 payment to
the townships that are non-oil producing in the oil producing
Another proposal would grant $15,000 to
all the townships in the oil producing Western counties.
Another would set up a $90 million grant
for bridge replacement and – or repairs should the bridges be
found to be in serious or critical condition in order to qualify
Many hours of listening, suggesting and
working with our legislators have taken place to bring this
funding report to you. When I look back on the $75 township
officers used to get per mile out of the one cent gas tax, and
consider the amount of dollars I have mentioned to you in this
report it seems that the last 20 years of truthfully speaking with
our legislators has really paid off.
In other bill action:
On January 23,
heard in the Senate Finance and Tax Committee. This bill would
eliminate the farm home property tax exemption. Larry Syverson
offered testimoney in opposition to the passage of this bill as
our policy calls for. The bill is being held in committee for
a bill that calls for a reduction in the North Dakota income tax.
This bill is also being held up in committee for a future
On January 24,
heard in Senate Transportation. This bill would take dollars away
from the Highway Distribution fund that we share in. We oppose it.
been introduced by 7 house members and 6 Senators.
This bill will allow proper funding in
the Western townships. Please support it.
Urge your legislators to give positive
support to this one.
Your Legislative Team
Ken and Larry
January 19, 2013 Township Legislative
Legislative activity is picking up in
Bismarck. I will try to address some of the action on early bill
proposals and then follow with some of the future proposals that
we are aware of for the next week.
First and foremost, at this time we have
been involved in the funding for townships as found in the DOT
This bill has $142 million for the Western North Dakota counties
and townships. It also has $100 million in it for counties, cities
and townships in the non-oil producing counties. Of the $100
million, $16 million is to go to the townships on a quarterly
distribution according to the miles of township road serviced by
another $20 million in it to go to the townships in the non-oil
producing counties at a $15,000 per township rate and of the
balance of the $20 million, 20% would go to the townships in the
same manner as the first $16 million allocation.
Last week in the Senate Appropriations
Committee Senate Bill 2012 had $100 million appropriation removed
from it and placed in
an emergency clause was added. This means if this bill is passed,
the township officers could expect a payment in February of this
year. We could actually budget these dollars for current repair
will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee in the
Harvest room at 8:30 AM on Tuesday, January 22.
There are other rumored proposals
floating around that include $300 million for bridge work and
funding increases for non-oil producing townships in oil producing
counties and a $250 million bridge proposal as proposed in the
Upper Great Plains Transportation Study.
The Senate Finance and Taxation
Committee will hear
which would eliminate entirely the farmstead
residence property tax exemption and will be heard on January 23
at 9:00 AM.
On January 24,
will be heard in the Senate Political Subdivisions Committee at
10:15 am. This bill would give township supervisors or other
appropriate officials 60 days to respond to a building permit
The House Political Subdivisions
Committee will hear
which is a bill that will set the maximum pay cap for township
treasurers at the same rate as other officers of the township at
up to $60 per day. This will be heard on January 24 at 2:30 pm.
This is a housekeeping bill as the words "up to" were
inadvertently left out last session.
At this time the Senators have 248 bills
introduced for them to handle and the House members have 370 bill
proposals before them. We continue to monitor them as they come
Our phone # in the Legislative Office in
Bismarck is 701-258-5903
Your Legislative Team,
Ken and Larry
January 11, 2013 Township Legislative
The first week of the 2013 Legislative
Session is over. Larry and Ken spent the week renewing old
friendships and making new friends in the Legislative Assembly.
This session has 8 new Senators and 17 new Representatives
learning the ropes. Your lobbyists have met most of them and seek
to gain their confidence as the session continues.
We attended the Governor’s State of the
State Address on January 8th. January 9th we
attended Chief Justice VandeWalle’s address on the State of the
Judiciary and a joint meeting of the Finance and Tax committees
for a Tax Department overview of state tax issues.
We sat in on the committee work on
HB1025 which deals with liability and immunity during disaster
responses. The ND Department of Transportation held a joint
meeting of the House and Senate Transportation Committees on
January 10th where the accomplishments, challenges,
budget information and proposed legislative actions for 2013 were
explained. The distribution of the Highway Distribution Fund was
revealed for the next two years. Townships received $11.1 million
in the 2011 -2012 biennium and projections for 2013 thru 2015 will
be about $16 million. This is a $4.9 million projected increase in
the 2 year period from the Highway Distribution Fund.
January 11, 2013 we received the next
week’s bill schedule and found that our funding bill SB2012 will
be heard at 8:30 AM on Thursday, 1-17-2013 and SB2025, our bill on
the overweight and oversize vehicle fees to go to the jurisdiction
in which the violation occurred, will be heard at 9:00 AM in the
Lewis and Clark room in front of the Senate Transportation
The above mentioned bills are just a few
of the many that are up for hearings next week.
Your Legislative Team,
Ken and Larry
The Legislative NDTOA Lobbyists
President Larry Syverson and Executive Secretary Ken