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Abolish Property Taxes Lawsuit

Abolish Property Taxes Lawsuit

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Published by northdecoder
Complaint brought by North Dakota Measure 2 crackpots, seeking to revoke 1st Amendment rights of a variety of individuals, public officials and organizations.
Complaint brought by North Dakota Measure 2 crackpots, seeking to revoke 1st Amendment rights of a variety of individuals, public officials and organizations.

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Categories:Types, Legal forms
Published by: northdecoder on Feb 15, 2012
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02/15/2012

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Empower the Taxpayer Complaint
 – 
page 1
STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA IN DISTRICT COURTCOUNTY OF BURLEIGH SOUTH CENTRAL JUDICIAL DISTRICTEmpower the Taxpayer, on behalf of )itself and the 28,000 + North Dakotans )who signed the Petition, Charlene ) Case No. 08-2012-C-_______Nelson, and Robert Hale, ))Plaintiffs, ))
COMPLAINT
vs. ))State Tax Commissioner Cory Fong, )Senator Dwight Cook, Senator David )Oehlke, Representative Charles )Damschen, Representative Lonnie )Winrich, Divide County )Commissioner Doug Graupe, Cass )County Commissioner Scott Wagner, )Wahpeton Finance Director Darcie )Huwe, Williams County Auditor Beth )Innis, North Dakota Association of )Counties, North Dakota Association )of County Commissioners, North )Dakota League of Cities, North Dakota )Weed Control Association, North )Dakota School Board Association, ))Defendants. )For their Complaint, Empower the Taxpayer, Charlene Nelson, andRobert Hale allege the following:
1.
 
Empower the Taxpayer is an organization of more than twenty-eightthousand private individuals who are advocating the adoption of an initiatedmeasure to end property taxes in North Dakota formally entitled,
NorthDakota Property Tax Amendment, Measure 2
.
 
Empower the Taxpayer Complaint
 – 
page 2
2.
 
The
North Dakota Property Tax Amendment initiated measure
was approved for circulation by Secretary of State Al Jaeger on March 30,2010.
3.
 
On April 29, 2011,
Secretary of State Al Jaeger
reported that themeasure had more than 28,000 valid signatures thus qualifying the measurefor the statewide ballot.
4.
 
Over 28,000 North Dakota voters signed these petitions to put thisissue on the ballot and to have a fair, fact-based discussion of whetherreal property taxes in North Dakota should be abolished.
 
5.
 
Charlene Nelson
is the Chairman of Empower the Taxpayer, amember of that Empower the Taxpayer, a resident of North Dakota, ownsreal property in North Dakota, and a person who pays North Dakota propertytaxes, and brings this action individually and also as a member of thecommittee who is a proper representative of the Empower the Taxpayercommittee.
6.
 
Robert Hale
is Legal Counsel of Empower the Taxpayer, a memberof that Empower the Taxpayer, a resident of North Dakota, owns realproperty in North Dakota, and a person who pays North Dakota propertytaxes, and brings this action individually and also as a member of thecommittee who is a proper representative of the Empower the Taxpayercommittee.
7.
 
The summary of the measure provides the following language:
This initiated measure would amend sections 1, 4, 14, 15, and 16 of article X of the North Dakota Constitution and repealsections 5, 6, 7, 9, and 10 of that same article, eliminating property taxes, poll taxes and acreage taxes, effective January1, 2012. The measure would replace the lost revenue withallocations of various state level taxes and other revenues,without restrictions on how these revenues may be spent.
The relevant text of Measure 2 is as follows:
 
Empower the Taxpayer Complaint
 – 
page 3
SECTION 1. AMENDMENT. Section 1 of article X of theConstitution of North Dakota is amended and reenacted as follows:Section 1. The legislative assembly shall be and all politicalsubdivisions are prohibited from raising revenue to defray theexpenses of the state or political subdivisions through the levying of atax on the assessed value of real or personal property.SECTION 2. AMENDMENT. Section 4 of article X of theConstitution of North Dakota is amended and reenacted as follows:Section 4. 1.
Taxes upon real property which were used before2012 to fund the operations
of counties, cities, townships, schooldistricts, park districts, water districts, irrigation districts, fireprotection districts, soil conservation districts, and other politicalsubdivisions with authority to levy property taxes
must be replaced
 with revenues from the proceeds of state sales taxes, individual andcorporate income taxes, oil and gas production and extraction taxes,tobacco taxes, lottery revenues, financial institutions taxes, and otherstate resources.2. The
legislative assembly shall direct
as much oil and gasproduction and extraction tax, tobacco tax, lottery revenue, andfinancial institutions tax
as necessary to fund the share of elementary and secondary education not funded through staterevenue sources before 2012
. The state cannot condition theexpenditure of this portion of elementary and secondary educationfunding in any manner and
school boards have sole discretion
inhow to allocate the expenditure of this portion of the elementary andsecondary funding provided.3. The
legislative assembly shall direct
a share of sales taxes,individual and corporate income taxes, insurance premium taxes,alcoholic beverage taxes, mineral leasing fees, and gaming taxes andany oil and gas production and extraction taxes, tobacco taxes, lotteryrevenues, and financial institutions taxes
not allocated to elementaryand secondary schools to counties, cities, and other politicalsubdivisions according to a formula devised by the legislativeassembly to fully and properly fund the legally imposedobligations of the counties, cities, townships and other politicalsubdivisions
. The allocation of the amount determined by the

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