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Oil Production Tax Passes First Test In State Assembly

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, January 11, 2010
An Assembly Committee is giving a green light to a bill that would tax oil production in California. 

Supporters say it would generate more than a billion dollars a year for colleges and universities, but opponents say it jeopardizes jobs. 

Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley reports...
Bay Area Democratic Assemblymember Alberto Torrico says his bill would give a financial boost to colleges and universities that recently took deep cuts in the state budget. 

He says his proposed 12-and-a-half percent tax on each barrel of crude is similar to what all other oil producing states charge...
Torrico:  “The other states seem to recognize that the oil is a natural resource that belongs to the state and the people of that state, and shouldn’t be given away for free. So, this bill says to oil companies no more free ride...” 
Republican Assemblymember Jean Fuller of Bakersfield opposes the tax. 

She’s concerned it would force companies in her oil rich district in Kern County to lay off some of their nine-thousand workers...
Fuller:  “It will not help our consumers. It will not help our struggling economy...”
There are two other Assembly bills that would tax oil production.

But, revenues from both measures would go directly to the state’s general fund and not just to higher education as proposed in Torrico’s bill.
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