Chairman Fox and Governor Burgum sign tax compact

On Feb. 28, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara (MHA) Nation Chairman Mark N. Fox and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed a historic compact increasing the tribe’s share of oil tax revenue on trust land.

The previous agreement, which dictates a 50-50 split between the two governments, will be changed to favor the tribe 80 percent to 20 percent on trust land. Senate Bill 2312, sponsored by Senator Jordan Kannianen, R-Stanley, will provide the framework for the new agreement.

The tax compact signing is the result of years-long efforts by Chairman Fox to negotiate a fair split in revenue. SB 2312 will next be considered by the ND House of Representatives after passing the Senate last week.

The tax compact also signals increased cooperation between the MHA Nation and the state.

“This got accomplished because we were able to build trust between the legislative and executive branch, between both parties, and between the state and the tribe,” said Gov. Burgum. “This can be a springboard for even greater cooperation going forward built on that trust.”

“We’re all in this together,” Gov. Burgum continued. “I think we’ve demonstrated to the nation that we can pursue energy development in a responsible way.”

The new tax agreement will provide an additional $33 million to the MHA Nation over the next two years. The proposed split will apply to newly-constructed oil wells on trust land, giving the MHA Nation much-needed revenue for improved infrastructure. The state of North Dakota will receive 20 percent of tax revenue made on trust lands.

The tax agreement will also allow for increased investment and oil development on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, benefiting both the tribe and the state.

“It doesn't end with the tribe getting more money. What's now going to happen is the state as a whole will benefit because we'll get more development, more drilling, more jobs. The economy grows,” said Chairman Fox.