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Letter: North Dakota Senate Republicans shortchange property rights

Property tax is a property-rights issue. In her recent letter, state Sen Jessica Unruh, R-Beulah, failed to note that not one senator voted for a bill that would limit property tax increases to 3 percent ("North Dakota Legislature delivered permanent property-tax relief," Page A4, May 13).

On the issue of property taxes, local control equals local tyranny.

On another property rights bill, there was not one senator who voted to reform North Dakota's asset forfeiture law, under which—as it now stands—you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent.

Legislators did not see any violations of the constitution under current asset forfeiture laws. This, even though North Dakota currently gets an F grade from property rights organizations on its current law.

Senate Bill 2225 at last would have given landowners in North Dakota the protections enjoyed by all of our surrounding states: the right to keep people from trespassing on their land.

The North Dakota Senate killed that bill, too. I might add that all North Dakota ag groups and landowner groups had supported it.

In North Dakota, private lands are considered open unless landowners have taken hours and spent their own money to put up signs along their property to keep people out.

The North Dakota Legislature has a decades-long track record of not respecting property rights, and in the 2017 session, it was the Republican senators who voted time and again to deprive property owners of their rights.

Property rights were one of the rights described in the Constitution that made this country great. Republicans in the North Dakota Senate failed on this issue.

F. Kenneth Olafson

Milton, N.D.

Olafson is a former member of the North Dakota House of Representatives.