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Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Mark Fox, right, testifies in support of Senate Bill 2257 during a hearing in front of the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee at the state Capitol earlier this month in Bismarck. Senate Bill 2312 is projected to send an additional $33 million in oil tax revenue to the tribe for the 2019-21 budget cycle. Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune

North Dakota Senate advances state, tribal oil tax compromise

BISMARCK — A bill that sets the groundwork for a new oil tax agreement with the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation cleared a hurdle on Wednesday, Feb. 20, as the Senate approved a compromise.

The proposal, Senate Bill 2312, is projected to send an additional $33 million in oil tax revenue to the tribe for the 2019-21 budget cycle by changing how tax revenue from the reservation is split.

Supporters say the entire state will benefit from increased oil industry investment at Fort Berthold if the tribe and governor sign a new oil tax sharing agreement, preventing the possibility of dual taxation.

“This is a bill for certainty and to bring peace among all parties, the state, tribes, the industry,” said Sen. Jordan Kannianen, R-Stanley, the bill’s primary sponsor.

The bill passed with a 40-5 vote. It will now be considered by the House, where leaders have already voiced support for the bill.

“We greatly appreciate the Senate’s support on it,” said Mark Fox, chairman of the MHA Nation, in an interview on Wednesday. “Now it’s on to the House, and we’re hoping for the same kind of success.”

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