New Severance Tax Initiative Filed


New Severance Tax Initiative Filed
Monday Morning Report, April 30, 2012
An oil severance tax initiative filed last week would impose a 25 percent tax on the gross value of each barrel of oil or gas produced from California land or water, and would use revenue from the tax to pay cash benefits to all taxpayers with adjusted gross income of $95,000 or less. The measure is labeled on the attorney general’s website as the “Robin Hood Tax.”
In addition to the tax and redistribution provisions, the initiative contains extensive provisions dealing with hydraulic fracturing, with new reporting requirements relating to the use of water and chemicals.
Under the initiative (12-0014), the Franchise Tax Board would oversee annual payments of $380 to taxpayers under the income threshold, and those in higher income brackets would be eligible to receive $50 a year if they are over the age of 65, legal residents, and registered to vote in California.
The measure was filed by Robert T. Nast, who listed his address as that of Camp Nast Associates LLC in Oxnard. Internet searches find no information about Mr. Nast or the LLC, indicating that he may not have the resources or affiliations that would be needed to qualify this initiative for the ballot.
The measure was filed too late to qualify for the November 2012 ballot, but would appear on a future statewide ballot if Mr. Nast is able to collect enough valid signatures.
CIPA will continue to track this initiative as we have with others. Last month a 10% severance tax to fund higher education did not qualify enough signatures to reach the November 2012 general election ballot.