August 15, 2018

Giving a boost to non-oil counties

A proposed infrastructure spending package would aim to help out non-oil producing counties, with an estimated $3.8 million estimated to go toward McLean County annually, if approved.
North Dakota House Majority Leader Al Carlson and Senate Minority Leader Rich Wardner together proposed a $280 million funding package recently that would provide money for infrastructure improvements across the state, especially in areas not benefiting from oil production.
“The Legislature has focused many infrastructure spending priorities over the six years to the oil producing counties, and while that money was needed and well spent, this new package will focus on reducing the local tax burden so that non-oil counties can share in the benefits,” Carlson said in a press release.
McLean County Auditor Les Korgel brought up the proposal during last week’s County Commission meeting, saying that the proposed funding package allotted approximately $3.8 million to go to McLean County annually.
According to the release, the proposed package would create three “buckets” in the state funding mechanism from oil taxes: $115 million goes into the combined county and township infrastructure fund and another $115 million is dedicated to the municipal infrastructure fund. A remaining $50 million is set for the airport infrastructure fund.
Oil taxes would be split equally between the county/township and municipal infrastructure funds, with the airport infrastructure bucket only receiving any funding after both of the primary funds have totaled the full $115 million.

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