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Oil Severance Tax Proposed; Would Fund CA Parks, Higher Ed

Joe Moore
Valley Public Radio

  Democratic lawmakers are calling for a new tax on oil removed from the ground in California – with the money going toward state parks and higher education.

Senator Noreen Evans is one of the bill’s co-authors.  She says the revenue would fill two of the state’s most critical funding needs.  And she says California is the only oil-producing state in the nation without an oil severance tax.

“This is not a tax on taxpayers, and studies have shown that an oil extraction tax does not contribute to the cause of gasoline at the pump.” 

Republican Senator Jean Fuller says Californians have approved enough taxes with Proposition 30’s passage last fall.  She believes the oil severance tax is bad policy, too.

 “The oil companies will just stop pumping – especially the national, international – and they will go pump in Saudi Arabia and other places.  We will have more foreign oil.” 

The new tax would raise a projected $2 billion a year.