Keith Kube for Legislature

Editorial #1a Property Taxes October 13, 2017


Property taxes will always be too high. This is irritating but not the problem. The real problem with property taxes is they are not fair compared to the urban areas of the state.

Rapidly rising farm property values caused this problem.  A disproportionate treatment occurred  between urban and rural families in funding schools as values often doubled.  This resulted in twice the tax with little additional income coming from that property. The issue will never be resolved unless the tax law subscribes to the four components necessary for any good law. It must be fair, honest, sustainable and have integrity.

The best law is no law with the second best law a law no one likes.

The urban areas like the property tax law as it is with the rural areas feeling they are not getting a good return on their investment for their tax dollars.

People always want to get their money’s worth when they buy things. The same with taxes. The farmers and ranchers want to be treated fair and not feel like step children of the state with the big cities taking advantage of them by taxing farmers and ranchers based on their net worth to fund schools.

They use their net worth to make their living which they pay income taxes on, and then pay a tax on the value of their land which is their nest egg. The urban population pay taxes on their home but not on their saving account or other investment which is their nest egg.

They use someone else’s net worth (their employer’s business property) to make their living. Practically none of their net worth is used to produce school tax income while practically all the rural land is used to pay for schools.

If the tables were turned, this unfairness would quickly surface. It is not fair to farmers and ranchers and until this is addressed the pain of high property taxes for farmers and ranchers will never end.

I having traveled to other countries where citizens treat taxes differently than we do. Those countries fundamentally distrust their government. This country is the most tax compliant country in the world because the citizens, for the most part, feel the taxes are fair and they trust they government. IF this trust is lost, this will be grounds for a “cold civil war” which no one wants.

This is Keith Kube wishing you the best in making the world a better place.