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Homeschool Bill looks to provide property tax credits



Bismarck, North Dakota – A bill that would offer tax credits to parents who choose to educate their children or send them to private school is being considered by lawmakers.

Parents would not be required to pay property taxes for their local public school district under Senate Bill 2369. In response to a request from Ryan Rintamaki, a resident of Williston, Senator Brad Bekkedahl, R-Williston, introduced the bill. While school districts contend that it would have a detrimental effect on the public school system, Rintamaki claims that this would be a good compromise for school choice.

“We wouldn’t necessarily be taking more money out of the system or requiring more, but instead we would be keeping more,” said Rintamaki.

“Through the tax credit, local public school districts would end up not receiving the full amount of funding as dictated by the Legislature in the per pupil payment,” said Alexis Baxley, executive director of the North Dakota School Boards Association.

The bill now includes a change that would make the state pay the discrepancy. Districts would still fall short of the full amount, according to Baxley, without a revision to the per-pupil system.

Bekkedahl claims that because of the objections it raises, this law has been proposed numerous times previously and confronts a difficult hill to climb.

“The arguments against it are varied. What about people who have never had children but pay school property taxes and those types of things,” said Bekkedahl.

The bill has not been given any attention.