An article in the Bismarck Tribune, March 5, has gotten my attention. Oil production is a one-time harvest. The Legacy Fund is funded by taxes on production of oil and replacement of this resource is the reason for its existence.
A bill to tap the Legacy Fund for a wide range of projects is at best questionable. Is the use of these funds for flood protection appropriate? This need is a benefit for many of us, but needs to be funded in other ways. The infrastructure projects that need to be addressed are those in the communities impacted by this oil production.
Oil company property has a state-mandated exception from local property taxes. The state collects production taxes instead and distributes them by legislation. Sales taxes are also collected by the state and distributed. Much of the sales tax is also generated by this industry.
Those in the impacted areas have a very small representation in the legislative bodies. We need the support of responsible people in all communities to help accomplish these needs. The oil industry has many local needs for roads, schools, police protection, emergency services, water, sewer, disposal and supportive activities.
There is much loss of land for our farming and ranching community to this development so we need not be taxed to provide for these services. Oil industry development is important to all of us and adds much to our economy. A large share of mineral and royalty interests are owned by others out of our state and their contribution is in the form of production taxes.
So, we need your support and thank you for all the support we have had in the past.
Harold Rolfsrud, Keene