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California Tax on Oil and Natural Gas (2014)

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A California Tax on Oil and Natural (#12-0014) was approved for circulation in California as a contender for the November 4, 2014 ballot.

Its sponsors, however, did not submit any signatures to election officials by the deadline.

If the initiative had qualified for the ballot and been approved by the state's voters, it would have:

  • Imposed a 25% tax on the value of oil and natural gas extracted in California.
  • Required the state government to distribute $380 annually to California taxpayers who earn $95,000 or less.
  • Required the state government to distribute an additional $50 to California residents over 65 who are U.S. citizens and registered to vote.
  • Specified record-keeping, monitoring, and reporting requirements for hydraulic fracturing, an extraction technique involving pressurized injection of water and chemicals underground.
  • Increased criminal and civil penalties for violations of laws governing oil and gas well operations, inspections, and reports.
  • Prohibited passing the tax on to consumers through higher fuel prices.

A different group filed the language for a somewhat similar measure, California Severance Tax on Oil and Gas. No signatures were filed for that effort, either.

Text of measure

Ballot title:

Tax on California Oil and Natural Gas. Revenues to California Taxpayers. Initiative Statute.

Official summary:

"Imposes 25% tax on value of oil and natural gas extracted in California. Distributes $380 annually to California taxpayers earning $95,000 or less. Distributes additional $50 to California residents over 65 who are U.S. citizens and registered to vote. Specifies record-keeping, monitoring, and reporting requirements for hydraulic fracturing, an extraction technique involving pressurized injection of water and chemicals underground. Increases criminal and civil penalties for violations of laws governing oil and gas well operations, inspections, and reports. Prohibits passing tax on to consumers through higher fuel prices."

Fiscal impact statement:

(Note: The fiscal impact statement for a California ballot initiative authorized for circulation is jointly prepared by the state's Legislative Analyst and its Director of Finance.)

"Annual state revenue of $3 billion to $7 billion (depending on oil prices) from new severance tax to fund approximately $5 billion of payments to individuals. The measure does not specify what would happen if available severance tax funds are insufficient to make the required payments. Decreased collections of various other state and local revenues totaling tens of millions or a few hundred million dollars per year due to financial changes related to the severance tax. This potentially could be offset by increases in some other revenues. Increased state administrative costs of several million dollars annually to administer this measure. These costs would be paid from the revenues of the oil severance tax and the increased fines in this measure."

Path to the ballot

See also: Signature requirements for ballot measures in California

External links

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