Jason Heitkamp: Dotzenrod Has It All Wrong On The Oil Tax

north dakota

Recently Senator Jim Dotzenrod, a Democrat from North Dakota’s District 26, wrote an editorial about how he believes North Dakota erred badly by cutting the oil tax.

He stated that this tax cut will mean billions less for critical water projects, infrastructure development, K-12, property tax relief, higher education and the state’s Legacy Fund.

Consider this alternative theory, Robert Harms, former Chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party, stated in an editorial for the SayAnythingBlog, “After multiple forecasts, competing projections, and daily oil price tracking, it has become clear that there are simply too many ‘If/Then’ and ‘What-If’ scenarios to plan around. A couple of pennies in the market could shift hundreds of millions of dollars to the state or the industry. Budgeting on the edge of a cliff is no way to run a state, or to expect an industry to function.”

The good news is that I concur with Senator Dotzenrod’s statement, “North Dakota, like other oil and agriculture states, will have to make adjustments, and difficult budget decisions will be made as we work through this time of lower commodity prices.”

These decisions will also include the permanence of the legislative actions such as the cut in the oil extraction tax form 6.5 to 5 percent.

Government does not create jobs; it sets the stage for our entrepreneurs to do so. Knowing this, we can move forward.

As John F. Kennedy once said, “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.”