In a move that defies all campaign promises, House Republicans voted to impose a newly invented tax on private businesses that provide water for the oil industry to frack oil, reports ND Watchdog Network’s Dustin Gawrylow today.
Gawrylow says the Republican controlled House Appropriations Committee hid the tax increase in the Water Commission Budget, which is a “must pass bill.” He says, “By creating this new water tax, and the attached bailout for the Western Area Water Supply, Republicans are punishes the private businesses who have been forced to compete with the government-backed Western Area Water Supply and forcing those specific private businesses to bailout their own competition.”
This is a change from the last two bienniums, in which the legislature has gone out of its way to cut oil taxes. Now, to fill a budget gap caused by putting government in competition with the private sector, they will be levying a targeted tax on businesses that provide water to the oil and gas industry. If passed by the Senate, the “royalty” tax could be the first Value Added Tax in North Dakota.