North Dakota Conservationists Don’t Need $200 Million Per Biennium
I had to laugh when I saw this quote in the Bismarck Tribune from a supporter of the conservation constitutional measure (if passed on the June ballot it would create a board of unelected political appointees who would control a percentage of oil taxes and use them for environmental advocacy). According to Keith Trego, who is leading the committee supporting the measure, they’re taking just a small percentage of oil tax revenues:
Keith Trego, a member of the measure’s sponsoring committee, said the proposed law is similar to one passed in Minnesota in 2008. The Minnesota law increased the state’s sales tax by three-eighths of 1 percent through the year 2034 to fund conservation projects.
Trego said it’s a reasonable process and “if we really believed there was a simpler way we would’ve done it.” He said the group studied information from the state Office of Management and Budget, the Tax Department and Legislative Council while developing the measure.
“It’s a relatively small percentage,” Trego said. He said it’s an investment in conservation that hasn’t been made by the state before. With the growth in population and oil production, he said, now is the time to do so.
It is a relatively small percentage – just 5% – but we’re talking about a small percentage of projected biennium oil tax revenues that total around $4 billion. That means this board of political appointees would have about $200 million per biennium to funnel into environmentalist causes including grants to non-profit organizations like the Sierra Club and the Dakota Resource Council (who are currently involved in a lawsuit seeking to remove North Dakota’s right to regulating mining in the state).
And if you don’t like those environmentalist causes? We’ll you’ll have to spend your own money to fight this mountain of tax dollars.
The problem these environmental activists have is that they’ve been unsuccessful at implementing their agenda through the legislature, so they want to short-circuit the legislative process by creating a sort of shadow legislature controlling a huge pile of tax revenues.Tags: Asshats, conservation amendment, keith trego, North Dakota News