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Cory Christofferson, Hamar, N.D., Published March 09 2013

Letter: Raise state oil tax, not lower it

I see where our illustrious Republican-controlled North Dakota Senate approved a bill to lower production taxes for big oil. Who votes for these buffoons?

Exxons’ profits in 2012 were $44.9 billion, just short of the world record, according to CNNMoney. And that’s just one oil company.

The oil company shills in Bismarck, pretending to be caring senators representing us ordinary people, say that a better working environment must be created for the oil companies so they don’t leave our state. Where the hell are they going to go? Our current production tax on oil here in North Dakota is at 9.8 percent. Alaska, which has been the second- or third-largest oil producer for years, has an oil production tax of 25.1 percent. How come the oil companies are still there? Probably because in the big picture, whether taxes on oil production are 8 percent, 10 percent or 25 percent, when the profits are in the tens of billions, it really doesn’t make much difference to the mega-rich oil barons.

I think we should become No. 1 in oil production tax. Just think what a 25.2 percent tax would do for our state. Our state oil revenues would go up by $10 billion per year with just the oil production now taking place within our state.

I tried dividing 10 billion by 680,000, which is the current population of North Dakota, just to see how much that is per person but my calculator won’t go that high. Must be a lot though. Alaska, with their 25.1 percent tax has no property tax, no sales tax, and great education, all funded by big oil. Every resident of Alaska also receives a yearly refund check from their oil revenue, which has been as high as $3,000 per person.

How cool would it be to be living in a state with no property tax, no sales tax, free college for all and a balanced budget. Oh, to dream! To dream!