June 13, 2024

Disabled veteran from Fargo denied state’s property tax credit – InForum

FARGO — A veteran in north Fargo did all the paperwork required for North Dakota’s Disabled Veteran’s Property Tax Credit.

Chuck Asplin served honorably in both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army.

“I started in ’68 because the army was hiring aggressively,” Asplin said.

The Vietnam War combat veteran is a longtime Fargo businessman, but when he recently applied for North Dakota’s property tax credit for disabled veterans he got a shock. The answer was no.

“The city determines if I’m eligible for it and then it comes off of the county taxes,” Asplin said. “They said your name is not on the title of the house,”

The city has to give its blessing to the tax credit applications and rejected his application because of whose name was on the title.

“I put the house in my wife’s name when I built it,” Asplin said.

He paid for his house. He lives there along with his wife.

“I understand what they’re doing. It’s just that the decision to make that the defining moment isn’t reflected in any of the regulations,” Asplin said.

Cities like Fargo that approve tax credit applications for disabled veterans get reimbursed by the state of North Dakota.

North Dakota Tax Commissioner Brian Kroshus said the intent of the program is to help disabled veterans of the state.

“If there is a component of (the) statute that isn’t consistent with that intent, we really have to take a hard look at it. Because whether it impacts one, or it negatively impacts 10, or 100, that’s too many, whatever that number is,” Kroshus said.

Fargo City Administrator Michael Redlinger said the city is currently not in the position to grant the application based off of the facts presented.

“It is the city’s position that proper documentation to secure the credit evidencing an interest in the property for which the credit is sought, as indicated on the application and guidance documents attached, has not been presented,” Redlinger said. “Therefore, the City is unable to grant the credit.”

North Dakota State Sen. Ron Sorvaag, R-Fargo, said correcting the language of the tax credit program will be on his list next session.

“We need to make it very clear about our intent, and we’ll work with the bill and clean it up,” Sorvaag said. “I guess I’m a little surprised that the interpretation is being held that tightly.”

The program is popular. In the last two years $16 million was distributed in the form of tax relief for disabled veterans, according to the North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner.

The maximum reduction a disabled veteran can receive as part of the tax credit program in North Dakota is $8,100. To learn more about property tax exempts, visit:


Kevin Wallevand has been a reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

Reach Kevin at kwallevand@wday.com or 701-241-5317

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