I want to apologize for issuing an official city press release regarding the city budget discussions. I agree with the Tribune editorial that my message should have been delivered by my campaign, not the city.
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My intent was to set the record straight. Last week’s reporting by a local television station indicated that Bismarck, among other cities, was considering a property tax increase. The problem with that the story was that it was not an accurate reflection of Bismarck’s budget preparation discussion. City administrator Keith Hunke and I, on many occasions over the course of the last six months, have discussed preparing a budget plan that would consider 5 percent cuts and additional efficiencies. I was attempting to make sure that the complete story was told and the people of Bismarck had all the facts.
I am proud of our city’s record on taxes. Bismarck has the lowest sales tax and second lowest property tax rates of any major city in North Dakota. Bismarck continues to be recognized as a well-run, affordable, safe city that is a wonderful place to start a business and raise a family. I apologize for my mistake and I promise I will continue doing all I can to keep our city a place of which we can all be proud.
Mike Seminary, Bismarck