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Published January 31, 2013, 09:21 PM

North Dakota Democrats Criticize Oil Tax Plan

North Dakota democrats criticize a republican plan to cut oil extraction taxes. Democratic lawmakers say the timing of this idea is all wrong.

North Dakota democrats criticize a republican plan to cut oil extraction taxes. Democratic lawmakers say the timing of this idea is all wrong.

Representative Corey Mock says there are still too many needs in oil country to reduce the extraction tax. A portion of that tax goes back to local areas impacted by oil development. North Dakota has one of the highest oil production and extraction taxes in the nation. Industry leaders have urged lawmakers to lower the tax in order for the state to stay competitive in oil development. Mock refutes that. Mock, "The fact of the matter is in the last six years under our current tax structure North Dakota went from being the ninth largest oil producing state to the second top producer. Again, all under this tax structure. So to say that our tax structure is unfriendly to oil development is untrue. We have to make sure the resources we are getting from our oil and natural gas are being put to work for the people of our state."

Democrats say the bill would mean a loss of $600 million in the first five years.

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