Senate Passes Oil Tax Bill | VideoJennifer Joas | 2/26/2013
That`s the sound that rang out with every amendment Democratic Senators attempted to pass through to change the language of the oil tax bill. The most controversial part of the bill is decreasing the oil extraction taxes by two percent.
"There may come a time when we need to reevaluate the extraction tax. But it`s after we fix rutted roads. It`s after we`ve addressed the challenges to our quality of life that make North Dakota so great," said Senator Mac Schneider (D) from Grand Forks.
"I have not heard from one constituent that thinks that this rate is a good idea. And I agree with those constituents," said Senator Tyler Axness (D) from Fargo.
Proponents of the bill argued it will bring stability to state revenues.
"When we de-couple our oil extraction tax from the price of oil, we bring stability to what put effective tax rate is," said Senator Dwight Cook (R) from Mandan.
They also argued that if the tax rate remains the same, it will drive business away from North Dakota, to other states with lower taxes.
"We want to keep the economic engine going in the state and oil development is a critical part of that," said Senator Rich Wardner (R) from Dickinson.
The Republicans won the vote 34 to 13. Other issues in the bill both sides did agree on was taxing non-resident royalty owners when they get their initial payments and changing the formula for wells producing little oil.
The tax cut is supposed to take place in 2017. The bill will now go to the House.