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Cut in state oil tax rejected in House

BISMARCK - House lawmakers shot down a proposal to restructure the state's oil tax structure, a bill many were worried would have threatened the long-term financial impact of oil production.

Senate Bill 2336 would have closed a series of tax loopholes in the tax structure that helped draw oil companies to the state and maintain their viability, while lowering the oil extraction tax from 6.5 percent to 4.5 percent.

Democrats argued against the bill, saying the state would lose about $3.6 billion over five years under a proposal to decrease the oil extraction tax rate for new wells beginning in 2017.

The measure failed on an 87-6 vote.