2019 Legislature passed tax breaks for petrochemical firms | Prairie Public Broadcasting

2019 Legislature passed tax breaks for petrochemical firms

Aug 14, 2019

If a company wants to build a petrochemical plant in North Dakota, it can receive some tax breaks to do so.

The 2019 Legislature passed a measure to give the company a sales tax exemption for construction of such a plant.

"There was an organization looking at putting a facility in the state of North Dakota," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Jason Dockter (R-Bismarck). "Since we only meet every two years, we wanted to put the bill in to help along that process."

Dockter said the bill does have a potentially high price tag.

"But the rate of return, and the amount we (the state) will get out of the project far outweighed what it was going to cost the taxpayers," Dockter said.

Recently, Gov. Doug Burgum and a delegation of state lawmakers traveled to Canada to tour a petrochemical facility.  Sen. Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) was on that trip. He said a good reason to attract the petrochemical industry is to help reduce natural gas flaring.

"We have all this natural gas," Wardner said. "If we don't take care of it in an economical and efficient way, our oil production becomes limited, and we can't go anymore."

Wardner said having a petrochemical firm would benefit the entire state, because the state gets "a lot of tax money" from oil.