State Budgets: North Dakota Debates How to Spend Growing Surplus

December 27, 2008

North Dakota’s government has been running consistent surpluses, as we documented in our report on Measure 2, a proposal to cut income taxes that did not pass in November. The current biennial budget will end with a $392 million surplus, even after a $111 million transfer to the state’s already $600 million rainy day fund. Gov. John Hoeven (R) recently proposed spending the surplus on capital projects, and unveiled a $2.75 billion budget for 2009-11 (a 9 percent increase over the previous budget) that includes $100 million in targeted income tax reductions, $300 million in property tax reductions, and $130 million in increased K-12 spending. Analysts report that even if oil prices remain at $40 a barrel for the next two years, North Dakota’s combined surplus will still exceed $800 million.

More on North Dakota here.


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