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Renters pay property taxes indirectly

November 9, 2013 - Andrea Johnson
News flash: renters do pay property tax, even if it's indirectly.

Most people who rent houses or apartments in northwest North Dakota have seen their rents steadily go up over the past five years. The reasons for those increases probably vary. There has been low supply and high demand, which inevitably drives up market rates. There are enough people in the area who can afford to pay high rents and, so long as there are, landlords will charge high rates. It's too expensive to build low income rental units without some sort of subsidy, so they are also in short supply. And, as my particular rental company says every time they decide to raise the rent, there are also rising expenses. Whenever there's an added expense, whether it be increased property tax or high labor costs, the landlord is most definitely going to pass it along to the consumer.

These are among the reasons why I become irked when I hear comments suggesting that renters don't pay property tax. While I don't directly write a check for property tax, my landlord sure does and every time his taxes go up, so does my rent. Renters have as big a stake as everyone else in whether to approve the various school bond issues that are being proposed. For instance, South Prairie voters will decide whether to approve a $12 million bond issue to build a new high school on Dec. 3, while Minot voters will decide whether to approve a $125 million bond issue for new school construction on Dec. 10. Nedrose voters will likely go to the polls in January or February to decide whether to approve an $18 million bond issue for construction of a new high school.

Supporters of the various bond issues have made a case about the needs of school districts dealing with increased enrollments and the overall benefit to the community of having new school facilities, while opponents fret over costs. It will be up to all of those voters – renters and property owners alike – to decide what they can afford and what their school districts need. But all of them will shoulder some of the costs as well as enjoying any of the benefits.


Article Comments

Nov-17-13 8:26 PM

I see what you're saying. Theoretically the money renters pay in rent could be used by owners to pay taxes. No way to prove that though. Only thing proven is said renter does not get a tax bill from the assessors office requiring payment. I respect your argument though. Have a great week.


Nov-17-13 11:57 AM

Given that the money I do pay in rent goes towards the property taxes on the building where I live and the landlord will undoubtedly raise the rent when the property tax goes up, I disagree.

Nov-16-13 9:38 PM

Fact remains; renters do not pay property tax.


Nov-12-13 12:20 AM


I'm with Andrea on this one. When property taxes go up, it hurts everyone.

There are inherent risks involved with owning property and renting it out to others. You don't get in the game without factoring in those risks. And your success literally depends on how skilled you are at mitigating the risks, but to say that property owners have no choices ... that simply isn't true. Your choices are different than those of the renters, but you have choices.


Nov-11-13 4:22 PM

The suggestion that renters not be allowed to vote is so beyond the pale that I didn't think it worth discussing. Fortunately, adults over 18 have the right to vote, regardless of their economic status or property ownership. I don't think there's a problem to be solved; I was merely making an observation in response to comments that I have found annoying about renters.


Nov-11-13 9:10 AM

That's the way it would work in theory. Sadly, human nature and past experience both tell me landlords will keep raising the rent. In case of a school bond, the tax increase requires a 60 percent majority vote. It's up to the voters to decide if they can afford it. And I do agree that the government never ends a tax once one is in place. They usually can find some other project to spend the money on and, if necessary, get the public to vote on a new tax.


Nov-11-13 8:41 AM

My point is new business has sprung up all over Minot.. Are your taxes going down or up?


Nov-11-13 8:40 AM

Andrea it will not spered out the tax burden..

The taxes will be the same for everyone.. but the taxes will not go down and they will not go away..

More houses just means more income for whoever is seeking your money..

I guess you don't understand.. Government NEVER has enough money.

When new housing comes in the dollar signs in the eye of Government just gets bigger..


Nov-10-13 11:46 PM

No, I said that there could come a point when landlords raise the rent so high that they will be unable to rent apartments at that price because lower rent apartments will be available. At that point, if things work as they should, the market will correct itself. Hopefully that will start to happen as more housing is built. It would also spread out some of the tax burden if more housing is on the tax rolls.


Nov-10-13 10:51 PM

So Andrea if I read you right..then if the school bond passes due to the renters voting and the property owner dares to raise the rent when his taxes are raised then the renters will move out..

You just proved the point of why renters should not be allowed to vote on other peoples money..


Nov-10-13 10:17 PM

What a lovely user name you have.

As I said, renters do indeed pay their share of property taxes. As for the rents, if they went up much higher they would soon find it impossible to rent, even in this current climate. Most of the renters I've known have been in the same place for several years at a time.


Nov-10-13 6:21 PM

With taxes going up then rent is going to go up.. With new schools demanding more tax money then property owners with rentals with demand higher rents..

be careful what you vote for..


Nov-10-13 6:19 PM

I ma quite sure they were stuck for their losses..

What do renters do to your property? Many walk out and leave it in worse conditon and many times the damage deposit does not come close to the cost to repair..

Maybe its time for the renters to also inlcude besides a first and last month a monthly fee for the portion they pay in taxes.. Then it would be fair.. If you property taxes are $1200 a year then every month the renter should pay $100 in addition to his monthly rent.. Maybe its time for the property owners to actually break out the taxes, house payment, water bill, flood insurance ect and show it all on the rental agreement. I suspect the rents would go even higher..


Nov-10-13 6:16 PM

Andrea.. Yes they do pay proeprty tax..indirectly..but they have choices unlike the homeowner.. If your rent is too high you just up and move.. You also don't have ayearly bill stuck in their face.

We the property owners are resposible for the upkeep of renatals.. which if we don't do it right we get taken to court. The taxpayer takes ALL the risk and yet the renter gets by on whatever he she likes to pay.

Renters are in many cases just passing thru..maybe in town for 3 or 4 years and then move on..leaving the bills they voted for to be paid for by the people who live here year after year..

The renters NEVER have to contest their taxes as some property owners do.

The renter gets a free ride on the back of the property owners..

And lets not forget we property owners pay every other tax the state requires too..

Do you think the owners of the flooded property who had property loss were able to pass it on to the renters? I think not!! They invested in rentals and I am


Nov-10-13 11:13 AM



Nov-10-13 7:27 AM

So do you suppose your rent will go down ever?


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