ND lawmakers pass oil tax trigger bill

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 6:20 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Last year, oil prices were high... really high. So high, the state is expected to rake in the second most it ever has in oil tax revenue. But that might never happen again.

Long story short, the North Dakota oil and gas industry may be getting a tax break. Long story long, it’s because the state Senate voted to do away with a trigger that was put into place eight years ago.

Currently, anytime the price of oil remains around $95 per barrel for three consecutive months, oil production and extraction in North Dakota get taxed at a higher rate. The industry is asking for a tax cut, but lawmakers are divided.

“The bottom line is that we are competing with other states for capital to further develop our energy sector, and we are losing,” said Senator Dale Patten, R-Watford City.

“I would think that the amount of money that we’ve saved these oil companies over the past seven, eight years, whatever that is, far exceeds anything that they paid out here in this trigger,” said Senator Larry Luick, R-Fairmount.

The bill (HB 1286) passed both chambers with veto-proof majorities.

One senator who opposed the bill noted the approximately $130 million made from this trigger tax over the past biennium would’ve been more than enough to pay for universal school lunches, a bill that was gutted before being passed in the House before crossover.

Previous Coverage: Oil tax trigger bill passes House