BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A state board agreed Thursday to hire a consultant for advice on how to invest a rapidly growing, $ 500 million North Dakota oil tax fund that was established by voters less than two years ago.

The Legacy Fund gets 30 percent of North Dakota’s oil tax collections, which have been rising along with the state’s production. The state averaged 660,332 barrels daily in June.

Since oil revenues began pouring into the fund last September, the money has been parked in bonds, its least risky investment option but also the choice that provides the stingiest earnings. The fund, which now totals $ 489.8 million, has had an investment return of just over 1 percent.

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