In response to Rep. Roscoe Streyle’s Aug. 9 letter to the editor. He is right.
North Dakotans did vote to set aside the dollars in the Legacy Fund. They voted to have those dollars invested for future generations.
They voted to not allow spending for several years. It comes down to spending versus investing.
To me, and I think to many, spending would be dollars that aren’t returned to the fund. Investing is doing something that guarantees growth of the fund.
I think you can read any report from any recent publication and you will find that North Dakota is the place to invest. We have thousands of people investing hundreds of millions of dollars in our state. We lead the nation in economic growth. Our state is one of very few that is doing well. Investing in North Dakota is just plain smart.
The bill Kenton Onstad and I fought for would have allowed the Legacy Fund to loan money to our political subdivisions.
If Belfield needed a school, if South Heart needed a fire hall, if Richardton needed a new lagoon, rather than bonding and paying for the infrastructure needs through property taxes, they could have borrowed the money from the Legacy Fund.
It would have guaranteed the fund a 4 percent return. It would have been property tax relief at its finest. The money would have been held out of future oil income. It has worked for years for the coal counties. Why wouldn’t it work for oil?
According to the minutes of the June 18 meeting of the Legacy and Budget Stabilization Fund Advisory Board, on March 31, the first quarter of the year ended with net assets in the legacy fund of $266 million. More than $260 million with a net return of .56 percent. A half a percent! It gets worse.
The month of April ended with a balance of more than $309 million, and a return of .28 percent. A quarter of a percent!
To me it just made sense, and still does, to invest in North Dakota. Our plan was based on the Coal Impact Loan program that has worked so well for more than 30 years without one default. And it made those counties the highest wage earning counties in North Dakota.
Let’s start investing in Main Street instead of Wall Street.
Shirley Meyer, Dickinson, and Kenton Onstad, Parshall