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More money for oil patch communities - part 2

Dave Thompson
Prairie Public

Republican lawmakers from western North Dakota are calling it the “40-60 plan.”

The proposal is to change the formula for distribution of a portion of oil tax proceeds. The current formula takes a portion of the Gross Production tax and splits it – so 75 percent would go to the state, and 25 percent to local governments in the oil patch. The proposal would change it – so 40 percent would go to the state, and 60 percent to the local governments.

"It's going to triple the dollars from this biennium to next biennium," said Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson).

Wardner says this will help local communities get ahead of the game.

"It's very frustrating for them, when they have all these needs, and people are calling them, saying 'roads are rough' -- and there's no money to fix them," said Wardner. "But I will guarantee you that if we pass this legislation, you will see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the whole state of North Daota is going to benefit from this."

The proposal will also reduce energy impact grants from $240 million to $150 million. And Wardner says county commissioners he’s talked to are okay with that trade-off.