Stillbirth Tax Exemption Legislation Unanimously Passes in North Dakota

March 9, 2017
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State Senate members unanimously approved a stillbirth tax exemption for those who endured a stillborn death.stillbirth tax exemption legislation

A bill will allow those dozens of North Dakotans on average per year to claim a tax exemption to ease the fiscal cost of such an experience.
House Bill 1239 passed 47-0 without and floor debate; the bill passed the House in January by a 90-0 vote. The bill now heads to Gov. Doug Burgum’s desk.

HB1239 would allow parents of a stillborn child to qualify for a tax exemption that families file for their living children, when they file a fetal death certificate. The tax exemption would be for one year, the year in which the stillbirth occurred.

Bill carrier Sen. Brad Bekkedahl, R-Williston, said in North Dakota there are an average of 49 stillborn births each year. “As tragic as it is, it’s not that many that occur out there, which we are thankful for,” Bekkedahl said.

Federal law doesn’t allow for claiming stillborn children on U.S. tax forms. North Dakota, once signed into law, would join at least five states that allow for a one-time tax credit or deduction. The deduction would be equal to the federal deduction for a qualifying child, which Bekkedahl said for tax year 2017 is $4,050.

Proponents of HB1239 in committee testimony said it would help in a small way ease the fiscal burden of those who deal with the hospital costs of childbirth, followed shortly thereafter by having to arrange a funeral.

Stillbirth Tax Exemption House Bill 1239 sponsors

House Bill 1239 is sponsored by Reps. Kim Koppelman, R-West Fargo, Roger Brabandt, R-Minot, Karen Karls, R-Bismarck, Jim Kasper, R-Fargo, Ben Koppelman, R-West Fargo, Aaron McWilliams, R-Hillsboro, Marvin Nelson, D-Rolla, Christopher Olson, R-West Fargo, Kathy Skroch, R-Lidgerwood and Gary Sukut, R-Williston and Sens. Robert Erbele, R-Lehr and Diane Larson, R-Bismarck

( By Nick Smith of the Bismarck Tribune.  Reach Nick at 701-250-8255 or 701-223-8482 or [email protected].)

Star Legacy Foundation note:  If you are interested in promoting similar legislation in your state and need help getting started, contact us – we would love to help – [email protected] or call 952-715-7731  Other states that already have similar legislation include Minnesota, Missouri, Indiana, Arizona and Michigan, however the Michigan legislation is currently inactivated due to budget constraints.  We are aware of current efforts in a number of other states to enact similar legislation.


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