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When big oil or any other natural resource industry flourishes so do government coffers, as has been demonstrated in North Dakota, where $18 billion in taxes has been collected over the past decade from oil production.

A recent study provided by the North Dakota Petroleum Council and the Western Dakota Energy Assoc. reveals that Williams County in North Dakota netted almost $1 billion in tax revenues from Oil Patch property taxes from 2008 to 2018. Other counties, Williams, Mckenzie, Mountrail, Ward and Stark, all had revenues over $450 million, and Divide and Dunn Counties garnered $150 million to $499 million. The West wasn’t the only recipient of big money from oil — Grand Forks and Cass County also landed in the $450 million and up category, while nearby Barnes, Richland and Stutsman were all in the $75 to $149 million category. Bottineau, Ramsey and Morton counties, in Central North Dakota, were also in the 75 to 149 million category, while Burleigh landed in the $150 to $499 million category.

North Dakota legislators are pondering how to spread the benefits of those dollars to non-oil producing counties.

More than a billion dollars of oil money has gone to North Dakota’s schools in the last decade, including a $150 million to Burleigh County. The revenue has also brought property tax abatement, water projects, school funding, Outdoor Heritage projects, local transportation projects, and one-time surge funds to other areas.

$7.3 billion was spent by local governments for infrastructure. $4.5 billion went into a “Legacy Fund,” $1.356 billion was spent on education, $1.262 billion on water projects.

The analysis also shows that more than $7 billion have been invested in our communities and infrastructure across the state.

The study was conducted by Brent Bogar with Jadestone Consulting.