Governor Jack Dalrymple's comprehensive initiative to invest in border-to-border infrastructure upgrades supports our communities, our economic development and our quality of life. His initiative also calls for changes to the Oil & Gas Production Tax formula to increase the local share of revenues and to provide greater certainty for budget planning in the most impacted counties.
"In North Dakota we are in a position to create our future, making long-term investments in infrastructure and other priorities while still providing substantial tax relief and maintaining healthy reserves," Governor Dalrymple said. "Infrastructure has been an important focus of my administration, including re-engineering the Oil and Gas Impact Fund to quickly address the needs of communities in our oil and gas counties. This administration also is the first to invest state funds directly in county and township roads without any local match required. Now is the time to continue our current commitment to infrastructure with one-time investments from our cash reserves. We are proposing a new initiative for $1 billion in road and highway investments statewide during this unprecedented time of growth."
Dalrymple's $2.5 billion initiative for 2013-15 includes:
Sustaining the traditional process for statewide transportation funding, even while funding major enhancements to the budget. Entities in non-oil producing counties will receive a special distribution of $100 million. Gov. Dalrymple proposes that work identified in the original Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute survey be completed in the coming biennium. The cost of this final phase of projects is estimated to be $150 million in the 2013-15 biennium.
Continuing the County and Township Road Reconstruction program at $145 million, which Gov. Dalrymple proposed for the first time during the 2011 Legislative Session. State assistance is still needed to rebuild these county roads that were never designed to handle the heavy truck traffic they carry today. To help increase local oil revenues to a level where counties can sustain the maintenance of roads on their own, the Governor will also propose that counties be allowed to retain overweight fines on county highways rather than return them to the state.
Providing another $135 million in Oil and Gas Impact grants during the 2013-15 biennium. Communities are still experiencing significant impacts from population growth and rapid oil development. These grants allow a quick response to those places experiencing the greatest impacts, regardless of where the oil is produced.
Proposing an increase in the share of oil and gas production taxes to counties, cities and schools. Gov. Dalrymple's proposal includes improving the formula so that the progression from a larger share of tax revenues to a smaller share of tax revenues takes place more gradually as production increases. This will bring the total proceeds from the formula to over $400 million for political subdivisions, and provide a stable funding source that allows counties and cities to better plan for budgeting purposes. Governor Dalrymple will continue working directly with regional leaders to make improvements in the Oil and Gas Production Tax formula.
Providing more than $1 billion in additional funding for the new "Enhanced Road and Highway Fund," a source for one-time investments in extraordinary state highway maintenance projects; for truck reliever-routes around cities; to upgrade two-lane highways into four-lane highways; for underpasses; and for special assistance to townships.