Senate Approves Lower Oil Extraction Tax - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Senate Approves Lower Oil Extraction Tax

Bismarck, ND -

The North Dakota Senate spends nearly two hours debating whether or not to restructure the state's oil tax.

After lengthy debate, the bill passed the Senate 34-13.

Democrats say the measure could cost the state billions in lost revenue over time.

Republicans say change will bring certainty to the tax code, something oil companies desire.

The measure cuts the exemption on stripper wells, that is costing the state $50 million a year.

In exchange, the measure lowers the tax on oil taken out of the ground.

(Sen. Jim Dotzenrod / (D) Wyndmere) "This tax cut in the middle of an oil boom makes no sense."

(Sen. Connie Triplett / (D) Grand Forks) "We are in charge of tax policy in this body. The oil companies don't get to tell us what they will accept or reject. The oil companies don't run this place yet."

(Sen. Dwight Cook /(R) Mandan) "When we decouple our extraction tax from the price of oil we bring stability to what our extraction tax really is."

(Sen. Tyler Axness / (D) Fargo) "If we leave the rates for extraction as they are currently are we will be driving oil companies away from ND I'm not buying that argument."

(Sen. Rich Wardner / (R) Dickinson) "We want to make sure that again, we continue to get the revenue, continue to keep the economic engine going. That's what this is about keeping North Dakota's economy healthy long into the future and not just in the short term."

Because debate got so long winded, Majority leader Rich Wardner motioned to end the debate and vote.


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