Taxing on social security in ND up for debate –


North Dakota is one of 13 state’s in the nation that taxes social security at the local level. Lawmakers are considering changing that.  

It has been the topic of conversation for years in committee. There were three almost identical bills introduced this session that would eliminate the state tax on social security. 

Everyone is impacted or supported by social security, whether you are retired, disabled, have low income or more.  If you work, a portion is taken out of your check depending on how much you earn. 
That money then goes into the state general fund. 

But when it comes putting a tax on social security, North Dakota is unique. 

“Our members came forward and said this is something we need to do about it,” said Josh Askvig, State Director for AARP in North Dakota.

AARP is supporting the bill and according to them, it is one of 13 states that tax social security benefits at all. It’s also one of three that tax it at the full federal income level.

So, whatever the federal government charges you in tax on your social security benefits the state matches that amount. 

House Bill 1174 would remove North Dakota from being one of the three that fully tax it.

“We were already taxed on social security, all these years. social security isn’t a pre-tax deduction. So with this, I consider double taxation. It is a tax reduction for our elderly senior, they would see an immediate benefit if this bill was passed,” said  Rep. Larry Bellew, Minot (R) Prime sponsor.

While others are against it. 

“There is not a lot of appetite for income tax reduction or income tax elimination. We have the lowest income tax rate of all 41 states that have an income tax and thats because we have a broad base. So, it is not a real big tax burden I do not think on anybody,” said Sen. Dwight Cook, Mandan (R).

In North Dakota Social Security recipients who rely on Social Security for 50% or more of their income is 45.3 percent. Those who rely on it for 90% or more of their income is 23.1 percent. 

The bill is expected to be on the Senate floor this week if not next week. 



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