10,000+ apply on first day of new North Dakota property tax credit

North Dakota home owners have until March 31 to apply for the state’s new $500 residential property tax credit that was approved in the 2023 legislative session. But thousands took advantage of the opportunity to get their names in with the state tax commissioner’s office on the new year’s first official day of business, according to the North Dakota Monitor.

The state began accepting applications this week. State Tax Commissioner Brian Kroshus said his office had already received over 10,000 applications by Tuesday afternoon.

“Right now, the wait times are several minutes — two to three minutes,” Kroshus said. “The phones are definitely ringing, but we’re processing people efficiently. And I think the initial rush will subside.”

The agency included an insert about the program along with property tax statements sent to taxpayers in December, Kroshus said. He said they’re also trying to spread the word through social media ads and interviews with the press.

No strings attached. There aren’t any restrictions on age or income to be eligible. The only requirement is that the applicant owns and occupies the property as a primary residence, whether it be a house, condo, mobile home, duplex or town home.

The new program, administered by the Office of State Tax Commissioner, aims to take pressure off taxpayers as the state government enjoys an unexpected financial surplus.

If you own a home in North Dakota and live there a majority of the time, you’re probably eligible.

You just need to provide proof of your identity and the parcel number of your home. Once approved, the credit would reduce your bill for the 2024 tax year.

Lawmakers allocated $100 million for the new residential property tax program, part of a half billion dollar package of property tax cuts passed last year.

The package — expected to cost the state more than $515 million — also expanded a pre-existing property tax credit for elderly and disabled homeowners. That program, commonly referred to as the homestead credit, was previously only open to North Dakota residents making $42,000 a year or less. Lawmakers raised that ceiling to $70,000.

The amended program includes two different discount tiers. Households that earn $40,000 a year or less can have up to 100% of their property tax bills covered by the program, so long as the amount doesn’t exceed $9,000. Households that earn between $40,000 and $70,000 a year, meanwhile, can have their property tax bills slashed by up to 50%, not to exceed $4,500.

The Legislature also removed a clause disqualifying households that own more than $500,000 in assets from the program.

Clearly, there’s a pent-up demand for cutting taxes, given the dramatic response to the new primary residence property tax credit. That will only put more pressure on lawmakers to re-up the program, which received initial funding for 2024 only.