(N.Y. TIMES) Voters in North Dakota on Tuesday rejected a constitutional amendment to abolish the property tax, turning aside arguments by advocates of the measure who say the tax has proved inconsistent and is in conflict with the basic concept of property ownership.

The result, which showed North Dakotans overwhelmingly opposing a property tax ban in unofficial returns, ended those advocates’ immediate hopes of making North Dakota the first in the nation to take such a step.

There, a powerful coalition of groups, including business leaders and public workers, strongly opposed the idea and raised significantly more money than the other side to spread a message that ending the property tax would mean chaos in the state capital, Bismarck, an increase in other taxes and an end to most decision making by local city councils and county boards.

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