ND legislators discuss electricity sales tax

By  | 

BISMARCK, N.D. - North Dakota's legislators are working between sessions. One topic of discussion is comparing tax credits among energy sources.

The three include how consumers get electricity in the state whether it be coal, natural gas or wind.

Currently, construction on new coal and natural gas plants are exempt from sales tax.

On the other hand, new wind farms have a 5 percent sales tax.

Recently, Representative Mike Brandenburg had the state's tax commissioner compile an analysis to show long term sale tax savings comparing these three electricity plants.

"What we want to have is the right numbers saying coal is getting these tax credits on 100 megawatts, natural gas is getting these tax credits on 100 megawatts, and wind is getting these kind of 100 megawatts, and who's the winner? Who's the loser? Who's really getting the tax credits and who's not?" said Rep. Mike Brandenburg, R-Edgeley.

North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Raschenberger said: "When you think about how much electricity is generated over 20 years, even though the up front sales tax can be in the millions. When you spread the out over the life of a wind farm it comes out to be a small amount."

The Energy and Transmission Committee will have another discussion on this on Jan. 24.