Economic development and economic growth are key ideas in any state or area, but clearly are a hot topic in North Dakota. The economic success in North Dakota represents an incredible opportunity to catch up in areas perceived to behind and to move into areas that will define the future. It is essentially North Dakota’s opportunity to write its own ticket. What I see missing from the discussion right now is a meaningful discussion on the fiscal side.
To be clear, I am not advocating a particular plan, in fact I do not plan on doing this or lobbying for any particular change. That is best left to others. What I see missing right now, what has the potential to be the cornerstone of broad based, inclusive, extensive economic growth is change on the fiscal side. Specifically what I am talking about is changing the taxation scheme in North Dakota.
I will be getting more specific with this over the next several weeks, but what seems clear is that North Dakota, with the different types and volume of tax revenues, has an opportunity to change the burden of taxes in the state. I am talking about a reduction in taxes certainly, but also, and maybe more importantly, altering the incidence of taxation. We can adjust property tax burdens, sales tax incidences, income tax amounts and anything else we want.
People keeping more of their income allows for a wealth of alternatives. There can be higher levels of consumption, greater levels of savings and investment. The entrepreneurial nature of North Dakota can take over and more business start ups commence operation. More than anything else that I have looked at in the last several years, this type of change has the potential to be a cornerstone for economic development, an opportunity to be leveraged for generations to come.
This was a bit too political for me. I promise to get back to the nuts and bolts, dollars and cents, in future discussions.