District 1 Representatives prepare for Bismarck | VideoChris Williams | 12/31/2012
Senator Stan Lyson will be the chair of the Natural Resources Committee, so he will see all bills dealing with oil. "We need to change the outlook of how the money comes back to the city. We need to get more of the percentage back, he said.
In order to do that, western legislators will have to convince legislators from the eastern side of the state to approve bills giving more money to oil country. "One of the things we did this summer, the three of us got together and we invited every legislature in North Dakota to come out here. We had every legislature other than 17 out of the 141, Lyson added.
Lyson says that will make it easier to explain what is going on in the oil field.
Representative Gary Sukut will be the Vice Chairman of Industry, Business, and Labor, and will serve on the Transportation Committee. Sukut is also one of the driving forces behind a bill that will change the gross production Tax Formula. "We`re treating the hub cities separately in that formula. The hub cities being Williston, Dickinson, and Minot, he said.
The new formula will bring five percent of the tax back to the oil patch. The hub cities will get one percent and the other four percent will be divided up across the oil field.
"The cities, the townships, and counties, and the school districts, the EMS agencies are all integrated into that formula, Sukut added.
Representative Pat Hatlestad is serving on the Political Subdivisions Committee, but that won`t be his only duty. "The big committee that I`m on that gets a lot of interest is fin ace and tax, so all of the tax bills, all of the changes with the formula, that will all go through finance and tax.
He`s worked closely with Sukut and other western legislatures on the gross production tax formula, so he will have a firsthand account when his committee reads the proposed change.
"When that bill comes before the committee I`ll have an opportunity to explain what we are trying to do, why we want to do this, Hatlestad added.
All three representatives are going to have a busy four months, but are looking forward to getting down to business.