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Published May 14, 2012, 09:00 AM

Undecided about Measure 2

JAMESTOWN, N.D. — My decision has not been made as to whether I am voting yes or no on Measure 2.

By: Clarice Liechty, Agweek

JAMESTOWN, N.D. — My decision has not been made as to whether I am voting yes or no on Measure 2.

If I vote no, it will only be because I too think it may be a mistake to give that much power and responsibility to the state government.

I would appreciate it if those who oppose the measure would stop their hyperbole and demagoguery and would recognize that there are inequities and problems with the current property tax system. And they also should recognize that they could be helpful in formulating solutions to address these inequities and problems.

Issues with roads

I would like the state of North Dakota to take control of the county and township roads. If agriculture is the No. 1 industry in North Dakota, then it is important to keep our rural roads in good condition so the farmers can have good access to their fields and their farmsteads for all the areas of the farming operation and business.

The county and the township boards (many of them good people) do not have the expertise, nor do they have the time, to manage the rural road system. If they did, our roads would not be in the horrible condition they are in today. (Only some of the blame can go to the high water issue.) The current condition of our roads is the result of decades of neglect. They also blame the lack of their keeping up the roads on “We do not have any money.”

Personally, I would rather my farmland property taxes be eliminated and I pay a higher income tax and higher state sales tax to have a rural roads system that works for our farmers and the agriculture industry — a system that has control and oversight by the state government. They have the expertise. Roads do not begin or end at the township or the county line. Is agriculture important?

As for the illusion of local control, that is all it is — an illusion. Because of the business I am in, I personally pay property taxes in places in North Dakota where I have no say in the government, including in the city of Jamestown, where I live. As for my farmland, in some townships the access is near nonexistent. Local control — no thanks.

Liechty is a Jamestown, N.D., developer and former Jamestown mayor.

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