Roscoe Streyle: The Oil Industry Is Taxed Enough Already

Crews work at an oil well site near Williston, N.D., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Amy Dalrymple/Forum News Service

This guest post was submitted by Minot resident Roscoe Streyle.

Do more, pay more, we hear it every day from the Democrats.  The only thing they know how to do is attack the Oil and Gas Industry.  The question is why?  This is an industry that directly and indirectly supports over 70,000 North Dakota jobs, pays over 65% of all State taxes collected, has paid out billions in royalties, single handily increased the population of the state, increased the income of every North Dakotan, funds almost 100% of the water supply and flood protection projects, filled the Legacy Fund to over $6 billion, filled the Common School Trust Fund (K-12 funding) to over $5 billion, and is a great partner for anything and everything in their local communities.

The State of North Dakota and its elected officials should be bending over backwards to encourage more investment into our State, not less through increased regulations and higher taxes.  North Dakota already has some of the highest oil and gas tax rates in the nation.  More money by far is being invested in Texas, we live in a globally competitive world.  The two tax increase proposals are short-sided and based on ignorance and lies.  The oil and gas industry gave up the tax trigger that would’ve cut the rate in less than half and in turn North Dakota got a predictable, more competitive and flat tax rate, the biggest winners in the tax deal from a couple sessions ago was not the industry, it was North Dakota’s budget and citizens.

Data is king and doesn’t lie, Democrats continuously distort the facts about the data.  Proof is in the recently released study from North Dakota Petroleum Council and Western Dakota Energy Association that was completed by Brent Bogar of Jadestone Consulting.  All three of these entities are the best in the business and deserve a lot of credit for taking the time to research and compile this great indisputable data.

See it for yourself at https://taxstudy.ndenergy.org/TaxStudy.

Summary of key takeaways:

  • Over $18 Billion paid in taxes from 2008-2018 (ONLY the Extraction and Production Tax)
  • Over $1.2 Billion in Water Projects.
  • Over $7.3 Billion invested in communities and infrastructure.
  • Over $800 Million sent to Cass County Region (Fargo Area).
  • Over $450 Million sent to Grand Forks County Region (Grand Forks Area).
  • Over $450 Million sent to Ward County Region (Minot Area).
  • Over $450 Million sent to Stark County Region (Dickinson Area).
  • Over $225 Million sent to Burleigh County Region (Bismarck Area).
  • Over $750 Million sent to McKenzie County Region (Watford City Area).
  • Over $100 Million sent to Richland County Region (Wahpeton Area).
  • Almost $600 Million to Mountrail County Region (Stanley and South Area).
  • Almost $1 Billion to Williams County Region (Williston Area).
  • Over $1.2 Billion for Tax Relief, all North Dakotans benefiting.
  • Over $1.1 Billion to Three Affiliated Tribes.

This does NOT even include the Income Taxes, Property Taxes, or State and Local Sales Taxes paid by the Oil and Gas Industry or associated mineral owners and businesses.  You could easily add another $1 Billion or more per biennium.

Why do the Democrats dislike this industry?  Why do they not like success?  Why do they want to increase their taxes?  Why do they want the State’s budget even more dependent on oil revenue?  Why do they want less investment in North Dakota?  Why do they want less fellow citizens working?  Why do they want less children in the school system?  Why do they want less population?  They do they want less opportunity for graduates?  Why do they want our young people moving out of state?  Why do they want less economic growth?  Why do they want less investment in Western and all of North Dakota?  Why do they want less water supply and flood protection projects completed?  Why do they want less per pupil payments to schools?  Why do they look down upon Western North Dakota?  The answer is unknown, but I surmise it’s because they don’t understand economics and don’t care about anything or anyone West of Hwy 281, even though Eastern North Dakota benefits greatly from the taxes paid by the Industry and its great workforce.

Did you notice the two oil tax increase bill prime sponsors were from Fargo?  Have the Democrats ever been to Western North Dakota, taken the time to learn the facts, talked to the industry representatives and/or employees, or been around anyone from the Oil and Gas Industry for that matter?  North Dakotan’s see through the political games and misinformation campaign the Democrats have been pushing for years about the oil tax structure and industry.  These two bills are just a couple examples of how North Dakota Democrats continue to be out of touch with reality and unsupportive of the industry.  Let’s all be thankful and supportive of our great North Dakota Oil and Gas Industry!

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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