May 2, 2017

Legislature tackles western N.D. issues in the final days

By Jack Dura
Farmer Staff Writer

As the North Dakota Legislature adjourned April 27 after 77 days of its 80-day limit, several issues facing western North Dakota played out until nearly the end.
Appearing late in the game was an amendment to Senate Bill 2013, regarding transfers to townships of oil and gas gross produduction tax, whittled down from 3 to 1 percent, initially.
The initial estimated loss to McKenzie County totaled $2 million a year, said Rep. Denton Zubke (R-Watford City), but was brought down to a $780,000 loss annually over the next two years.
“I think most people in western North Dakota would consider it unfair,” he said, adding,  “My position on that amendment is that they were moving into a stream of income for our political subdivisions that is in lieu of property taxes, and I don’t think the state then should be reaching out and taking anybody’s property taxes,” Zubke said.

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