Tuesday, January 04, 2011
The NDPC was quoted in a recent report that focuses on oil and gas development in North Dakota. It was put together by the Bismarck Tribune. It's a big report so we've taken the relevant portions and put them below.
One opponent of Measure 1 was the North Dakota Policy Council, a nonprofit that advocates for limited government. If the state has so much excess money, perhaps it shouldn’t be locked away but rather given back to the taxpayers, the council argued.
Additionally, says the council’s director, Brett Narloch,“Why is it that when times get tough, it’s government that has to be stable?” Ordinary households will have to cut their spending during tough times, he said, so when the state sets up a fund to stabilize the government, it is saying government’s needs are more important than its citizens.
The council also argued that locking up a portion of oil taxes does little to limit government spending. North Dakota has had another oil tax savings account since 1995, the so-called Permanent Oil Tax Trust Fund, which was created by the Legislature. Despite its name, the fund’s reserves are not permanent; they’ve been tapped virtually every legislative session to balance the state budget and fund special programs. Currently, it’s being used to draw down local property taxes, fund college-based “Centers of Excellence,” the Heritage Center expansion and other things.