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House votes to send bigger share of oil production tax revenue back to political subdivisions

BISMARCK - House lawmakers voted Thursday to send a greater share of oil production tax revenue back to the state's top crude-producing counties, though not to the extent that the governor and some western leaders have proposed. House Bill 1176, ...

 

 

 

BISMARCK – House lawmakers voted Thursday to send a greater share of oil production tax revenue back to the state’s top crude-producing counties, though not to the extent that the governor and some western leaders have proposed.

House Bill 1176, widely expected to be the most debated bill of the session, passed by a vote of 70-18, with six members absent or not voting.

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“I think this is ... a fair offer,” said Rep. Jeff Delzer, R-Underwood, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

North Dakota currently taxes oil production at 5 percent. Eighty percent of the revenue above $5 million is divided through a formula that sends 75 percent to the state and 25 percent to political subdivisions.

The bill approved Thursday would change that split to 70 percent state, 30 percent local, which is less than the 60 percent local, 40 percent state split earlier proposed by Gov. Jack Dalrymple and western GOP lawmakers.

House Minority Leader Kenton Onstad, D-Parshall, said many in the chamber have been asking for increases in the formula for political subdivisions since 2007, and if counties had been funded at a higher level, “We wouldn’t have had to deal with this.”

The bill was the last one passed by the House before the Legislature adjourned for its mid-session recess. Lawmakers will reconvene Wednesday, after which the Senate will take up the formula bill.

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