FM Diversion – Fargo Moorhead Area Diversion Project

Sales Tax Information

Voters in Cass County and Fargo will be asked to vote on Nov. 8 on an extension of existing flood-protection-related sales taxes (at the same tax rate) in order to provide a long-term funding source in which to finance the construction of permanent flood protection, including the FM Area Diversion Project.

Below are how the ballots will read in Cass County and Fargo.  

Cass County Ballot Language

Shall the Cass County Home Rule Charter be amended to extend the existing flood- protection-related sales, use and gross receipts tax of one-half of one percent (1/2%) to be used solely for the engineering, land purchase, construction, and maintenance of flood control measures including the Metro Flood Diversion Project including associated special assessments and indebtedness, through December 31, 2084, and shall be rescinded when all of the costs, obligations and debt for said project have been paid in full and satisfied, whichever event occurs first as provided in Resolution #2016-20 and in the Notice of Proposed Cass County Home Rule Charter Amendment as published in THE FORUM on the 29th day of August, 2016.

Click here for the full approved resolution

Fargo Ballot Language

Shall the city of Fargo’s Home Rule Charter be amended to extend the existing flood-protection-related sales taxes to pay for flood protection, including the Metro Flood Diversion Project and associated special assessments and indebtedness, through December 31, 2084 unless rescinded earlier, after the costs, obligations and debt for said project have been paid as determined by the City Commission, all as provided in the Notice of Proposed Fargo Home Rule Charter Amendment as published in THE FORUM on the ___ day of September, 2016?

Click here for the full approved resolution

Quiz // 15 questions about the project

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Diversion Authority Board to Discuss Special Assessment District Notifications and Public Hearing

Immediately following the meeting of the Diversion Board of Authority on May 11 at 3:30 p.m. in the Fargo City Commission Room, representatives from the Cass County Joint Water Resource District (CCJWRD) will offer a brief presentation about an upcoming Assessment Hearing on 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 6, at the FargoDome. The Assessment Hearing will […]

What happens if the sales tax extension is not passed by the voters?

The project would be delayed, and a new implementation strategy and schedule would be developed. Costs would increase due to delays, and the Federal and State grant funds could become at risk.  The financial plan would need to be revised to consider other funding and financing mechanisms.

Will I still be special assessed?

The financial plan does not rely on residents paying special assessments.  The special assessment district will still be utilized as a financial back stop on some of the long-term bonding in order to secure better terms. Sales taxes, not special assessments, will be utilized to pay the annual payments. The goal of extending the flood-protection […]

What ability to end the tax early is there?

Sales tax collections of City or County sales tax can cease upon approval of the City or County Commission, respectively. The financial plan envisions a scenario in which, due to sales tax growth, early repayment of the debt may be possible. 

Why does it need to be extended to 2084?

A long-term revenue source is needed to secure the long-term financing that helps make the annual payments affordable, much like a home mortgage. The financial plan amortizes the sales tax related bonds out until 2084, which is the length of time required to affordably secure long-term sales tax-backed bonds. The financial plan also envisions a […]

Why do we have to vote now on a tax that doesn’t expire until 2029?

The foresight by voters in Fargo and Cass County to pass sales taxes early in the process helped move the Project swiftly through the necessary political hurdles and obtain federal and state funding. No tax rate increases are needed, but the expiration date of the existing flood-related sales taxes need to be extended in order […]

Who else is paying for the Diversion Project?

The total cost of the FM Area Diversion Project and the Fargo Flood Control Measures is estimated at $2.2 Billion. Of that amount, over $1 Billion is expected to come in the form of grants from the State of North Dakota ($570M) and the federal government ($450M). Sales taxes are paid by all those who […]

What does this tax pay for?

Sales tax is expected to fully cover the local portion of the FM Area Diversion Project and other Fargo Flood Control Measures.  The Diversion Project has been determined as the best way to obtain certified 100-year flood protection for the metro area and protect our community from the devastating impacts of a major flood.

Why is sales tax the preferred funding source for flood protection?

Sales taxes are paid by all those who visit, shop, or take advantages of the services within the County and City. Because Fargo and Cass County are economic centers that serve a large geography (including visitors from Canada), the use of sales tax is a fair way to fund infrastructure such as flood protection, versus […]