(The Center Square) – North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum asked lawmakers Monday to reinstate tax cuts approved earlier this year.
The $91 million tax cut is part of the Legislature’s budget bill that the North Dakota Supreme Court struck down. The bill should not have included a provision that changed the state’s retirement board, the court ruled. The inclusion violates the state constitution’s single-subject rule, it said.
Lawmakers are meeting in a special session this week to pass the budget bill again, but they did not include the tax cuts approved in their regular session.
The 0% tax bracket would be raised from $44,725 to $60,000 for single filers and from $74,570 to $100,000 for married filing jointly. If approved by the Legislature, Burgum said 50,000 North Dakotans would be eligible to pay zero income tax.
The funding for the tax break would come from $288 million in excess revenue from the 2021-2023 biennium.
“When our state collects more than it needs to operate and more than it needs to fill, overfill our reserves, our first option should always be to return the excess money to taxpayers,” Burgum said in a joint address to the House and Senate. “And we should ensure that any tax dollars that are being utilized have a high reach or investment for our taxpayers.”
The governor also asked lawmakers to allot $70 million of the excess revenue to the state’s infrastructure and workforce. He wants $50 million invested into the North Dakota Department of Transportation’s Flexible Transportation Fund for road projects. Lawmakers created the fund during the 2023 legislative session.
Burgum also asked for a larger investment into the Destination Development Grant Program. The Legislature added $25 million during the session. The governor is asking for $20 million more. Eighty-one applicants applied for a total of $151 million in matching grants.
“By boosting the total grants to $45 million we can support more private sector investment and create even more destinations that will attract visitors and workforce to our state, also strengthening our economy,” Burgum said.
Legislators are holding committee meetings Monday to hammer out the details of the budget bill. The House and Senate are expected to reconvene at 4 p.m.