North Dakota oil tax fund about to top $2 billion

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 22, 2014 at 7:22 am •  Published: May 22, 2014
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's oil tax savings account is about to top $2 billion.

The Legacy Fund gets 30 percent of the state's oil tax collections. The money can't be touched before 2017 and it would still take a two-thirds vote of the Legislature for the state to dip into the fund.

North Dakota voters approved the fund in 2010. It received its first deposit of $34.3 million in September 2011. Monthly deposits have averaged $61 million, and the fund surpassed $1 billion in April 2013.

This month's transfer of $81.7 million will put the account over the $2 billion mark, State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt said.

"At this pace, the Legacy Fund is on schedule to receive $3 billion by the end of the 2013-15 biennium," or budget period, she said.

The fund has been growing faster than anticipated because of rising North Dakota oil production and high prices. State Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said this week that he expects April's oil production figures to be over 1 million barrels daily.

The State Investment Board invests the Legacy Fund money in a broad range of assets, including stocks, bonds and real estate.