Weather Forecast


Port: Double taxing the oil industry is a good way for the Three Affiliated Tribes to lose a lot of money

File Photo: Flares and lights from oil wells dot the horizon on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, just over the Missouri River from New Town, North Dakota November 1, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen/File Photo

Back during their 2015 session North Dakota lawmakers removed from the oil industry a massive tax exemption triggered by low oil prices. They did so before low prices actually triggered it, keeping the state from losing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues during a time of severe revenue shortfalls.

In exchange for the removal of that exemption lawmakers also lowered the state’s combined extraction and production taxes from a top rate of 11.5 percent to 10 percent.

Since then Democrats and their various mouthpieces have been braying about “tax cuts for big oil,” only the net result of the policy changes was hardly a tax cut. This chart shows in blue the actual revenue collections since this policy was implemented through February of this year. The red bars represent what the state would have collected under the old policy:

It’s a strange sort of arithmetic that can allow you to conclude that policy change which result in taxed companies paying more in taxes is a tax cut. But that sort of unrepentant lying is just the sort of thing which happens in politics.

Click here to continue reading Rob Port's blog.