Bismarck Mayor on why COVID reduction cash could not offset tax improve

Given that property taxes in Bismarck will rise next year, Mayor Steve Bakken explains why the federal COVID-19 aid money was unable to offset these increases.

Bakken says Bismarck received about $ 10 million in the spring of last year, right at the start of the pandemic.

He says the money was used to fund one-off costs, such as the mass drive-through tests that were held at the city’s events center.

The American rescue plan is expected to give North Dakota even more federal COVID aid dollars, which could mean more money for Bismarck.

But Bakken says the money has not currently been approved by the state so it cannot be allocated yet.

“I have a firm policy – we don’t program a cent until we have this money. It’s just a bad way of doing business. They do not assign these funds or do not program them until you have them in hand. Relying on something that could possibly come is a bad way to do business, ”said Bakken.

State lawmakers are expected to approve and allocate the more than $ 1 billion from the US bailout plan during a special session in November.