WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published February 02, 2011, 05:36 PM

Former ND Gov. Schafer Pitching Lower Oil Revenue Tax

Reducing the North Dakota's growing dependence on oil revenues was one of the issues former North Dakota governor Ed Schafer talked with UND students about Wednesday.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

Reducing the North Dakota's growing dependence on oil revenues was one of the issues former North Dakota governor Ed Schafer talked with UND students about Wednesday.

Schafer says lowering North Dakota's oil taxes may reduce state revenues, but it would also help the state remain attractive to oil companies.

UND Students spent their lunch hour with Former North Dakota Governor Ed Schafer. As part of his "Fix the Tax" campaign, he had a Q and A session with students about a number of oil production issues the state is facing.

"Are we becoming dependent on oil revenues again? I believe we are," Schafer. "We need to be competitive so when oil companies decide to drill a hole, not today but tomorrow, that they are drilling it in North Dakota and not in Colorado, Texas or Wyoming."

Schafer is a supporter of lowering oil production taxes, which is the heart of his campaign. It's an idea he feels will help keep oil companies in the state in the future.

Some students told Schafer that they think it's too soon to be lowering taxes with the growing oil production.

"There is a high demand for oil in our state and we can use that for the betterment of our citizens," UND student Grant Hauschild said.

"Just because production has been increasing, the number of active wells are projected to increase in 2011," UND studnet Tyson Page said.

Schafer says lowering North Dakota's oil taxes may reduce state revenues by about $400 million in the current two-year budget, but it would help ensure oil revenues in the future by attracting more oil wells into the state.

Right now North Dakota oil production is at about 11.5 percent.

Tags: