MINOT – Two pieces of legislation aimed at revising the financial implications of eminent domain have been placed before both Senate and House lawmakers at the current session of the North Dakota legislature. Both bills would increase valuations for landowners.
“The bill in the House and the Senate is exactly the same language,” said Rep. Scott Louser, R-Dis. 5, Minot. “It adds 33% to the property owner for eminent domain. I think the 33% is extremely aggressive.”
Sen. David Hogue, R-Dis. 38, Minot, and Senate majority leader, told those attending the forum that he supports both bills. An an example why, he cited the Red River Diversion Project in Cass County, the largest flood project in the history of North Dakota.
“It involves the taking of people’s home. It involves the taking of farmland that has been in their family farm for a long time,” said Hogue. “Why should the government come along and take my house from me, against my will, and pay me what anybody else would? I think the taking authority should have to pay a premium. That’s why I support both of those bills.”
Rep. Jeff Hoverson, R-Dis. 3, Minot, was asked to respond to a question about bills that would eliminate property taxes in the state.
“I’m not aware of any,” said Hoverson. “If there was actually a bill I would definitely support it.”
Hoverson also addressed HB1491, a bill that asks for the state to pay the cost of school lunches.
“I think the cost is $90 million. Most on the committee are opposed to it. I am opposed to it,” said Hoverson.
Rep. Louser added that there were 107,000 kids enrolled in school in North Dakota and the bill would not cover nearly enough of the cost.
“The fiscal note is probably three times that,” said Louser.