Posted 5/08/19 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
After 76 long and grueling days, the North Dakota Legislature came to an end on Friday, April 26. And for Dale Patten, District 39 Senator and Denton Zubke, District 39 Representative, this was a very good session for western North Dakota.
While both Zubke and Patten say that there were several bills that impacted landowners in McKenzie County and western North Dakota, overall both were happy with what the Legislature was able to accomplish.
Looking back, they say that the passage of Operation Prairie Dog, which maintained the Gross Production Tax to oil-producing counties, as well as the passage of the Corridor of Commerce bill were key bills that they were part of.
“Overall from a macro viewpoint, I think western North Dakota and District 39 came out of it in very good condition,” stated Zubke. “I think the passage of Operation Prairie Dog (HB1066) kind of memorialized in the minds of a lot legislators that 30 percent of the Gross Production Tax (GPT) needs to go back to western North Dakota.”
According to Zubke, based on the amount of oil that is being produced and with the current oil price, oil-producing counties like McKenzie County will receive a lot more money.
“The longer that we can keep 30 percent of that formula in people’s minds, the better off we are going to be,” stated Zubke. “That, in my mind, is the No. 1 piece of legislation that had a positive impact on western North Dakota.”
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