GNDC President: Not much appetite for raising the gasoline tax

Oct 16, 2018

Greater North Dakota Chamber president/CEO Arik Spencer.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Republican leaders have rolled out their “Operation Prairie Dog,” to provide a permanent source for highway infrastructure projects.

It uses a portion of the oil tax to fund those projects.

Normally, highway projects are funded through state gasoline taxes. But Greater North Dakota Chamber President and CEO Arik Spencer said there doesn’t seem to be a lot of support to raise gas taxes.

"I imagine there may be bills introduced (in the Legislature) to increase the gas tax, because it's been such a long time," Spencer said. "But I think the general climate is not conducive to that."

The current tax is 23 cents per gallon.

Spencer said there may be efforts to make changes in other “user fees,” such as the cost of drivers' licenses and vehicle license plates.

"The gas tax has really been subsidizing those," Spencer said. "We'd rather see those funds going to the road."

A proposal to raise vehicle registration and drivers license fees was briefly floated in the 2017 Legislative session, but it didn’t go anywhere.