The Roundup -

Prairie Dog Bill to Help with Energy Industry Impacts

 

January 23, 2019 | View PDF



Watford City, ND - “Without consistent and reliable impact dollars redistributed by the state of North Dakota, the region will not be able to support the needs of the industry and its workforce” – Pat Bertagnolli, Vice President of Human Resources, MBI Energy Services.

On Tuesday, January 15, the House Tax and Finance committee of the 66th Legislative session publicly heard House bill 1066, otherwise known as the Prairie Dog bill. The bill is the result of an interim legislative committee study directed by the 65th legislature to determine western communities current and future impact needs. The study was comprised of two components; hub cities funding needs and the four counties funding needs.

“Removing the expiration date will help in providing long term stability of the Gross Production Tax (GPT) redistribution formula to impacted communities” stated Phil Riely, mayor of Watford City.

The Prairie Dog bill retains the 30% local share, 70% state share of GPT redistribution. In recent history, that share was 10% local, 90% state and there were per capita caps on cities in the formula, including Watford City. The ability to remove the sunset clause at a 30/70 share without caps will support a more stable revenue stream to help impacted communities absorb current and future rapid growth expenses and budget more efficiently and responsibly.

The Prairie Dog bill removes the sunset clause of the redistribution formula, removes the current Energy Impact Grant bucket, and establishes three other buckets; the Airport Infrastructure bucket, the non-oil producing counties Infrastructure bucket, and the non-hub cities Infrastructure budget. The bill will receive a recommendation from Tax and Finance, then will move to House Appropriations, prior to receiving a floor vote from the House of Representatives prior to the cross over deadline of February 22.

 

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