Liberals must think that if you repeat a lie often enough voters will eventually think it’s true. Or at least they hope we do.
In his recent letter to the editor, former Fargo City Commissioner Mike Williams made the claim that the State of North Dakota cut its oil extraction tax. Of course, he ignores the fact that the very same legislation also repealed an automatic oil tax cut that would have gone into effect due to lower prices. The oil tax legislation in question has generated a $600 million net increase in state tax revenues to date.
And that is not the only fact Williams ignored.
He compares Norway to North Dakota and writes at length of how great Norway is for putting people first with their $1 trillion oil fund. No one disagrees that having a fund for future needs is a good idea, but he fails to mention that Norway owns almost 70% of all their oil production. I am not sure the folks in western North Dakota would appreciate the state appropriating the lion’s share of their oil production income to comply with his comparison.
Speaking of lion’s share, Williams also fails to acknowledge that almost 60% of all state tax revenue comes from oil and gas production. That’s billions of dollars a year for important needs like North Dakota State University, flood protection and K-12 education…all from the oil and gas industry.
The truth is North Dakota must maintain a healthy business climate in order to keep attracting the billions of dollars needed in investment to keep our state’s oil and gas production going strong. We need common sense regulation and competitive tax rates to do so. If we don’t, we are liable to kill the golden goose.
Finken is chair of the Brighter Future Alliance, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance the cause of freedom and free enterprise to further the common good and general welfare of the citizens of North Dakota and the United States.