Democrats Say Oil Tax Bill Will Cost ND Billions - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Democrats Say Oil Tax Bill Will Cost ND Billions

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Bismarck, ND -

North Dakota Democrats are speaking out for a second time against a Republican backed measure to restructure oil taxes in the state.

They say they've done some recalculating and are now deeply concerned about the financial impact of the bill.

Democrats say the bill could cost the people of North Dakota more than $1.3 billion in the first five years.

They say new projections show the state could loose over $3 Billion by 2021.

Senator George Sinner says, "Either our friends from the other side of the isle are hiding the real fiscal note or they didn't know it and didn't want the public to know it. If this passes we will be short changing both current infrastructure needs and other needs and children and grandchildren's futures."

Republican Senator Dwight Cook says Democrats aren't looking at the entire bill.

The measure would cut the exemption for older wells that's costing the state $50 million a year.

It also eliminates triggers that alter taxes if oil prices fall.

"My biggest fear is seeing this industry or the price of oil goes south and then our revenues go south with it. That's what this bill will prevent from happening. It will guarantee us a steady stream of revenue somewhere between 9-9.5%. We haven't had that history in the past. This is a very important piece of legislation," says Cook.

Senate Bill 2336 has a hearing Tuesday at 9:00 in the Fort Totten Room.

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