Voters in North Dakota reject measure to end local property taxes

North Dakota voters have resoundingly defeated a proposal that would have made the state the first in the nation to abolish local property taxes.

Unofficial returns Tuesday showed voters rejecting the constitutional amendment.

The amendment drew opposition from North Dakota public school teachers and local governments. They get a large share of their revenues from local property taxes.

The measure required the North Dakota Legislature to replace the money lost from eliminating property taxes. That amount was estimated at more than $800 million annually.

Critics of the idea said the amendment would give too much power over local government budgets to the Legislature.

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More than 27,000 people signed petitions to put the amendment on the ballot. Its supporters say North Dakota's property tax system is unfair and riddled with exemptions.