North Dakota Democratic–Nonpartisan League Party statement on State-Tribal Tax Agreements

(Image: North Dakota Democratic-NPL)

Three bills passed North Dakota's House of Representatives allowing revenue sharing with the state’s tribal nations in the areas of oil and gas, alcohol, tobacco, and sales and use taxes

News Release

North Dakota Democratic–Nonpartisan League Party

House Minority Leader Josh Boschee (D-Fargo) announced the passage of three bills to allow revenue sharing with North Dakota’s tribal nations in the areas of oil and gas, alcohol, tobacco, and sales and use taxes. The bills are SB 2257, SB 2258, SB 2312.

“These agreements are an important step to strengthen our government-to-government relationship with North Dakota’s tribal nations,” said Representative Boschee. “The issue of double taxation on tribal lands in our state has long been an obstacle to those relationships. A fair and equitable method of taxation as envisioned by these bills would provide tribes with much-needed revenue and allow the tribes and state to collaborate as equals on the many issues important to all North Dakotans, such as infrastructure, housing, education, health care, and public safety.”

SB 2257 was approved by an 85 to 7 vote. It would allow the state to enter into agreements with North Dakota’s tribal nations on alcohol and tobacco taxes, both wholesale and retail. An agreement approved by a tribe would establish equivalent taxes on alcohol and tobacco products on the reservations. The state would collect those taxes on the tribe's behalf and allocate those revenues back to the tribes based on the number of enrolled members.

SB 2258 was approved by a 77 to 15 vote. It would allow the state to enter into agreements with the tribal nations on sales and use taxes. Currently, sales and use taxes are not collected from tribal members on the reservation. If a tribe chose to enter into an agreement with the state, it would establish a tax equal to the state level, with the state and tribal governments receiving an equal share of the revenues. The part on revenue sharing was added by the House Finance and Tax Committee, which generated opposition from several North Dakota Democratic–Nonpartisan League Party (Dem-NPL) legislators. That amendment will have to be reviewed by the Senate before final passage.

The third bill, SB 2312, was approved by an 84 to 8 vote. It authorizes a state-tribal agreement on the sharing of oil and gas tax revenues with the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara (MHA) Nation. Under the bill, 80 percent of the revenue from oil produced on tribal trust lands goes to the tribe and 20 percent goes to the state. On fee lands, 80 percent of the revenue goes to the state and 20 percent to the tribe. Revenue from the tax currently is split 50-50 between the state and the tribe.

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