Why Are North Dakota Republicans Proposing A Tax On Water?


For years, Republicans have complained and called for reform of the state’s 11.5% Gross Production and Extraction Tax on oil production in the state. In the last few years, large scale efforts to “Fix the Tax” have been launched.

The oil tax is what has created North Dakota massive influx of cash, and created the state’s $1.6 billion projected budget surplus.

Apparently some legislators, who happen to be Republican, believe that North Dakota needs new taxes and have introduced House Bill 1398.

House Bill 1398, sponsored by Rep. George Keiser (R-Bismarck), Rep. Curtiss Kruen (R-Grand Forks) and Rep. Jim Schmidt (R-Rural Mandan), would levy a 11.5% Gross Extraction Tax on “water from an aquifer below the earth’s surface extracted for an industrial use.”

The “industrial uses” being targeted here are obviously related to the water needed to “frack” oil wells in the Bakken.

Read the bill here.

There are several *possible* motives behind this which are not completely clear yet.

1. This could be an attempt to raise funds to later reduce the oil tax.

2. This could be an attempt to make it more difficult for private industry to compete with the state-backed water project in western North Dakota.

3. Or, it could be a straight-up money grab.

Whatever the motives, one thing is clear, North Dakota does not need this revenue.

This is the type of legislation North Dakotans should fear from the Federal Government, not from their own state representatives – let alone Republicans.

Please take the time to contact your legislators and tell them No New Taxes in North Dakota by clicking here.