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Senate committee looks at gas tax increase

Dave Thompson
Prairie Public

The North Dakota Senate Finance and Taxation Committee is now looking at a bill to increase the state’s gasoline tax by seven cents a gallon – to 30 cents.

"For the last three sessions, I've been inundated with constituents who wanted to increase the gas tax, simply because of the conditions of our roads in the very southeast corner of the state," Sen. Larry Luick (R-Fairmount), the bill's main sponsor, told the Committee. He said the bill would raise about $103 million a year. And that money would go towards roads and bridges.

This comes as the House is considering the infrastructure funding bill – dubbed “Operation Prairie Dog” – that takes some oil tax money and creates a permanent infrastructure fund.

"As you know, the 'Prairie Dog' doesn't do anything for the Department of Transportation or the state highway network," North Dakota Association of Counties Executive Director Terry Traynor told the Committee. "The greatest share, 63 percent of gas tax, goes to the state highway network, which is important."

No one testified against the gas tax bill. The committee did not take immediate action.

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