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Associated Press, Published January 28 2013

ND bill outlines new framework for oil taxes

BISMARCK — Lawmakers are considering new rules for taxing production from oil wells in North Dakota.

Republican Sen. Dwight Cook of Mandan says the bill introduced Monday attempts to bring certainty and stability to the oil industry and the state.

He says the bill closes a tax loophole for so-called stripper wells that costs the state millions in revenue annually. Those wells are exempt from the state's 6.5 percent extraction tax, but not a 5 percent production tax.

The new tax structure also would eliminate price triggers that would lessen state taxes for companies if the price of oil falls below a certain level.

In exchange, companies would be charged an effective tax rate of 9.5 percent beginning in 2017 instead of the 11.5 percent tax rate they're charged now.

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