Local News

Mar 18, 2010 3:25 PM by Ariel Wesler

Controversy flares up over proposed oil tax

Assemblyman Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara) has introduced a controversial new bill called The Oil Industry Fair Share Act. The legislation would establish an oil severance tax of 10 percent on the gross value of each barrel of crude oil pumped by companies in California. He says the tax will provide more than $1.5 billion in revenue to the General Fund annually.

"California oil companies are getting a free ride. Right now, California is the only major oil producing sate that does not charge a severance tax on oil extraction. It is time for California to catch up with Alaska, Texas, Alabama, and Arkansas. We need to collect the people's share of this revenue source by forcing Big Oil to pay its fair share," Nava said.

On the other side are those in the oil industry whose livelihoods depend on oil production. They say research shows the proposed bill would force more than 9,000 Californians to lose their jobs and reduce local tax revenues by millions of dollars.

A Bakersfield group called "Save Our Jobs" is holding a press conference today in Santa Maria to explain its opposition to the bill. We will have a full report on the controversy on KSBY News this evening.


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