Marvelous news from the colder Dakota:
A proposed constitutional amendment that would make North Dakota the only state in the nation to abolish property taxes would be “the most profound policy change since statehood,” a county commissioner said Monday.
The measure, which goes to a statewide vote in June 2012, is stirring controversy in North Dakota, where oil and gas development have contributed to an expanding economy and low unemployment that has largely insulated the state from the nation’s economic malaise.
In June of last year, I wrote the following:
If we were able to replace property taxation with another form of taxation which was equitable (and perhaps based on consumption) we would no doubt see the number of Kelo-type situations shrink to a very few, or perhaps even go away altogether. However, the possibility of the property tax system being changed is probably smaller than the the chance of the US Supreme Court reversing itself on Kelo–and that seems unlikely in the near future.
While the court has not yet reversed itself on Kelo, I am greatly encouraged by the beginnings of this particular type of freedom in North Dakota and eagerly anticipate future developments.
Hope and change, anyone?
Speaking of reversing Kelo:
“I do not think that the Kelo opinion is long for this world,” Scalia said. “My court has, by my lights, made many mistakes of law during its distinguished two centuries of existence. But it has made very few mistakes of political judgment, of estimating how far … it could stretch beyond the text of the constitution without provoking overwhelming public criticism and resistance. Dred Scott [legalizing slavery [note: Dred Scott did not actually “legalize” slavery, which was already legal in many states; it prevented Congress from forbidding it in federal territories, though states were still permitted to ban it — IS]] was one mistake of that sort. Roe v Wade [legalizing abortion] was another … And Kelo, I think, was a third.”
That’s what I’m talking about.