Advocacy is a cornerstone objective for The Chamber. Driving sound public policy at the regional, state and national levels, we strive to create a business friendly environment that’s poised for economic growth and prosperity. From taxation and regulation to energy and education, The Chamber stands as the voice of business.
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The Chamber took an active role in the crushing defeat of the constitution amendment to eliminate property taxes in North Dakota. An early leader in the opposition, The Chamber hosted “State of Prosperity or State of Chaos,” an event with elected and business leaders to debate the proposal which was attended by over 200. Voters defeated Measure 2 by 77%.
The Chamber supported the adoption of a state-based health benefit exchange which would better serve the needs of North Dakotans. North Dakota did not establish an exchange in 2012.
A half-cent sales tax increase for infrastructure needed all the support it could get on the June ballot in Fargo. The Chamber supported the tax to provide resources for critical infrastructure projects including street improvements, underground infrastructure and flood mitigation projects while minimizing the need for additional special assessments on property owners. Needing 60% approval, the measure passed by 63 votes. Expected to generate $11 million annually, the half-cent sales tax will commence January 1, 2013 and is scheduled to sunset in 2033.
The Chamber opposed a proposed Minnesota Supermajority Amendment that would have threatened funding for greater Minnesota communities. The Chamber supported an economic development plan aimed at attracting business and investments in communities outside of the metro. The Supermajority proposal was defeated in the 2012 session and progress was made in expanding economic development opportunities which gained bipartisan support to lay the groundwork for the passage of specific proposals during the 2013 session.
The proposed 2013 Department of Defense budget calls for $1 trillion in cuts over 10 years, with the largest portion of reductions impacting the National Guard. The budget cut stripped the C-27J Spartan mission from the North Dakota Air National Guard’s 119th Wing, the Happy Hooligans. This loss would result in an economic loss for the region, as well as, negatively impact the ability to respond to emergencies and disasters. The Chamber continues to lead a group and provide representation in Washington, DC.