Rep. Scott Louser, Published November 06 2013
Letter: Democrats not being truthful about the Republican recordHouse Minority Leader Kenton Onstad, D-Parshall, and his fellow Democrats have been attacking Republicans for not spending enough in oil country to meet the needs. These attacks were not only dishonest but hypocritical.
Republican legislators invested more than $2 billion to help build oil country infrastructure, education, health care and law enforcement needs, and we are prepared to do more until the job is done. And if you want proof, just look at the sea of orange cones and construction sites across western North Dakota.
At the same time, we invested billions more in infrastructure, human services and education. By nearly doubling per-pupil payments for K-12 education and limiting mill levy rates, we also provided school districts the opportunity to dramatically cut local school property taxes. In addition, we provided an additional $200 million to local political subdivisions to reduce their property tax burden.
Combined with income tax reductions, more than $1 billion was spent with the intent to reduce the tax burden of our residents. Finally, we set aside some of our state’s current windfall in case our good times don’t last and the Obama administration bans fracking, coal mining or modern agriculture practices.
So the next time you hear a North Dakota Democrat carp about Republicans’ so-called lack of spending, remember, it was Republicans who passed billions in new infrastructure spending and it was Democrat Minority Leader Kenton Onstad who proposed House Bill 1420 during the 2011 legislative session that would have dramatically cut the very oil taxes we need to pay for our state’s investments in infrastructure, human services and education.
Louser, R-Minot, represents District 5 in the North Dakota House of Representatives.