May 26, 2020


By Neal A. Shipman

Farmer Editor

As McKenzie County residents make their voices heard in the June Election, the McKenzie County Farmer is encouraging voters to say “yes” to County Measure 1, which would create a Senior Mill Levy.
While most people may initially oppose any additional county mill levies, which would increase their property taxes, the reason why this measure deserves to be supported needs a little explaining.
While the McKenzie County commissioners are already providing funding for senior citizen programming and services from its general fund budget to assist in these needed programs for our elderly population, voter approval of the Senior Mill Levy would allow for a very significant portion of those dollars to be returned to the county by the state of North Dakota.
Under North Dakota law, if McKenzie County has a Senior Mill Levy it would be able to qualify for an 87.5 percent matching grant from the state to fund its senior citizen programming. Without the mill levy, the full burden of paying for those services would continue to rest on county taxpayers.
The grant program for senior citizens is the reason that every county in North Dakota, with the exception of McKenzie County, has already enacted a Senior Mill Levy. It makes sense.
McKenzie County is already contributing the money to the state fund. But without the passage of this measure, it is unable to request those matching grants. In essence, McKenzie County’s money is being used to help fund senior citizen programming across North Dakota.
A “yes” vote on County Measure 1 just makes too much sense.


In the June Election, voters in McKenzie County will also be asked whether or not they want the minutes of their school boards and city councils to be published in their official newspaper, which is the McKenzie County Farmer.
In every prior election, county residents have overwhelmingly said that they wanted to be able to read the minutes in the newspaper. We appreciate the support of the voters and encourage you to vote “yes” again.