Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bill offers tax incentive to college grads

Job incentive bill in North Dakota sparks interest

This post was written by Amy Dalrymple and was reprinted with permission from

FARGO — A bill introduced by a former North Dakota State University student body president seeks to give college graduates an incentive to work in North Dakota.

The bill by Rep. Joe Heilman, R-Fargo, would give North Dakota residents who are paying off student loans a break on their state income taxes.

House Bill 1356 would let residents reduce their taxable income by the amount of student loan payments they made during the year, up to $2,000.

For example, a resident who earns $40,000 a year and pays $2,000 a year in student loan payments would be able to reduce the state taxable income to $38,000.

Based on preliminary estimates, residents would save about $50 per year, Heilman said.

“It doesn’t seem like much now, but it adds up over 10, 20 years,” Heilman said.

The bill does not restrict the tax benefit to graduates of North Dakota colleges and universities. Heilman said he also wanted to offer the incentive to people who attended college in another state and want to return to North Dakota.

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