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Associated Press , Published April 08 2013

ND oil tax trust fund nears $1 billion

BISMARCK — North Dakota's oil tax fund is nearing $1 billion in assets.

The Legacy Fund gets 30 percent of the state's oil tax collections. None of the money can be spent until 2017, and even then it takes a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to dip into it.

March deposits were about $87 million. That brings the fund's total to $927 million.

Oil revenue began gushing into the fund only since September 2011. Analysts initially estimated it would have a $618 million balance when the state's current two-year budget period ends on June 30.

Revenue from the fund has been invested mostly in short-term, low-risk U.S bonds. The Legacy Fund's seven-member advisory board is recommending that half of the fund's assets be shifted to the stock market and other investments.

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