Burgum signs bill to fund infrastructure, urges communities to invest in existing areas to limit property taxes

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BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today signed legislation that will provide $250 million to help cities, counties and townships in non-oil producing counties pay for infrastructure needs, urging local leaders to invest the dollars in existing infrastructure areas to limit the growth of property taxes and create healthy, vibrant communities.

Legislative leaders, bill sponsors and stakeholders joined Burgum for the signing of House Bill 1066. The bipartisan bill passed with broad support, 80-12 in the House and 46-0 in the Senate.

The bill changes the distribution of oil and gas tax revenues, creating new “buckets” to set aside revenue for counties, cities and townships in non-oil producing areas. Starting in the 2021-23 biennium, the bill will direct $115 million to cities, $115 million to counties and townships, and $20 million for an airport infrastructure fund.

“One of the pillars of our Main Street Initiative is smart, efficient infrastructure, and we know communities across North Dakota have significant infrastructure needs. We also support local control, and this bill gives communities enormous latitude to use this bounty of oil tax revenues. If used wisely, these grant dollars represent a golden opportunity to improve the economics of cities, limit the growth of property taxes and create healthy, vibrant communities, enhancing the quality of life for all North Dakotans,” Burgum said.

The law requires that grant dollars be used for essential infrastructure projects, including water and wastewater treatment plants; sewer and water lines, including lift stations and pumping systems; water storage systems, including dams, water tanks and water towers; storm water infrastructure, including curb and gutter; road and bridge infrastructure; electricity and natural gas transmission infrastructure; airport infrastructure; and communications infrastructure.

In addition to allocating oil tax revenues to non-oil producing areas, the law also preserves allocations for oil-producing areas and removes the sunset on the “hub city” designation that directs additional oil tax revenue to Dickinson, Minot and Williston.

 

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