Oil tax distribution bill changes in House committee

Feb 23, 2015

The House Appropriations Committee has made a recommendation to change the allocation from oil taxes.

And it isn’t what Gov. Dalrymple proposed.

The current allocation is -- 25 percent of oil tax collections goes back to local governments, and 75 percent goes to the state. Dalrymple and some western lawmakers proposed a 60-40 split – with the 60 going back to local governments. But the Committee made it a 30-70 plan, with the 30 going back to the locals.

"If we're realistic about where we're at, we have to deal with what our current sitaution is," said Rep. Jeff Delzer (R-Underwood), the chairman of the committee. "Even at 30-70, we're not going to have any money for anything two years from now."

Delzer says the “anything” he’s talking about includes the strategic investment fund – and the property tax relief fund. He also told the Committee this will likely end up in a House-Senate conference committee – and will be around until the end of the session.

One part of the new formula bill for oil impact aid would make Mandan a “hub city” – in terms of receiving that aid. Mandan would join Williston, Minot and Dickinson as a “hub city.”

"I, but for the life of me, cannot get my head around on how Mandan should be included as a hub city," said Rep. Jon Nelson (R-Rugby). "That just defies logic to me."

But Rep. Jim Schmidt (R-Mandan) says Mandan has the Tesoro refinery.

"We've expanded that refinery," said Schmidt. "The city has assisted the refinery on water intake. It is expanding because of that."

The full House will vote on the amended bill in the next day or two.