Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation Chairman Mark Fox testified before the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee in support of Senate Bill 2312 on February 6. The bill would change the way oil and gas tax revenue from oil produced on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation is shared between North Dakota and the Tribe. The bill would also establish a new framework for future Tribal tax agreements.
“We’ve been working for years on getting this done. What’s in front of us now is an opportunity to reap the benefits of that dialogue, that communication and that work,” said Fox.
State revenue would be offset by attracting more capital through oil industry investment, given companies wouldn’t face the potential for dual taxation.
“Long term, the state will benefit from additional revenues as well with additional development that otherwise wouldn’t take place with the current uncertain tax environment,” said Sen. Jordan Kannianen, R-Stanley, the primary sponsor of the bill, reported the Grand Forks Herald.
If the bipartisan bill moves forward, the MHA Nation is expected to receive roughly $33 million in oil tax revenue over the next couple of years. The 50-50 split of tax revenue from reservation lands would shift to 80 percent to the Tribes and 20 percent to the state. Onn fee lands, that percentage would flip, with 20 percent going to the Tribe, and 80 percent to the state.
The region needs to maintain competition with other shale formations in the U.S., Gov. Doug Burgum has said. “This agreement is critical for creating a stable tax and regulatory environment across both Tribal and non-Tribal lands,” the governor said at a Bismarck news conference.
The tax agreements would additionally impact the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Spirit Lake Tribe and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.
“It’s gonna be a huge revenue builder for each Tribe and the state” Said Scott Davis, North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission Executive Director, reported KXNet.com.