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Published February 27, 2013, 09:48 AM

ND Senate Debates Oil Tax Restructure

North Dakota Senators debated for nearly two hours Tuesday over restructuring an oil tax. Democrats say the measure could cost the state billions in lost revenue over time. Republicans say change will bring certainty to the tax code, something oil companies desire.

North Dakota Senators debated for nearly two hours Tuesday over restructuring an oil tax. Democrats say the measure could cost the state billions in lost revenue over time. Republicans say change will bring certainty to the tax code, something oil companies desire.

The measure cuts the exemption on stripper wells that is costing the state $50 million a year. In exchange, the measure lowers the tax on oil taken out of the ground.

Sen. Connie Triplett, (D) Grand Forks, "This is the non-renewable resource, this is a one-time harvest and you are about to give it away. It is beyond my comprehension how this can be done with so little discussion, so little concern, with so little understanding on what you are about to do."

Sen. Rich Wardner (R) Dickinson, "I don't think this is a giveaway at all. What we are doing is trying to make sure we have a stable, reliable revenue source so we can fund the priorities of the state of North Dakota."

The bill passed the Senate 34 to 13.

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