Fracking taxes: Oil boom drives North Dakota revenue up nearly 135 percent

By Rob Port | North Dakota Watchdog

AGGRESSIVE GROWTH: North Dakota’s cumulative biennium to date tax revenues are up nearly 135% going back 4 bienniums.

BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota’s last revenue report for 2013 from the Office of Management and Budget shows yet another month of double-digit percentage increases even after years of oil boom-driven revenue growth.

Six months into the 2013-2015 biennium, tax collections are running more than 20 percent above the previous biennium. Going back four bienniums to December of 2007, North Dakota’s tax revenues have increased nearly 135 percent.

In terms of raw dollars, the largest increase has been in sales tax revenue, which increased $142.68 million to $638.44 million for the biennium to date. By comparison, sales tax revenue at this point in December 2007 were $279.33 million.

As a percentage, the largest increase has been collections from personal and corporate income taxes, which have increased 43.7 and 65.6 percent, respectively.

That comes despite a 19.3 percent cut for personal income taxes and a 12 percent cut for corporate income taxes passed by the Legislature last year, the third consecutive session in which both tax rates were trimmed.

State legislators also eliminated a financial institutions tax that last biennium had brought in $5 million to date.

Oil activity in North Dakota, set off by energy industry innovations like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” has driven economic activity and population growth at record levels. Government reports have the state leading the nation in population growth, personal income growth and economic growth.

Email Rob Port at rport@watchdog.org

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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