Nelson promises severance tax initiative | Arkansas Blog

Monday, February 7, 2011

Nelson promises severance tax initiative

Posted By on Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 10:42 AM

As predicted here Friday, former gas executive and political candidate Sheffield Nelson announced this morning an initiative campaign to put a 7 percent gas severance tax on the 2012 general election ballot. You can read a summary of the proposed act, along with some background information here. Nelson also provided the text of the proposed "Natural Gas Severance Tax Act of 2012." The increase — Nelson said his tax would produce five times the roughly $50 million a 2008 increase produced annually — would go to state and local roads.

Is the Nelson announcement a ploy to encourage the legislature to improve the 2008 increase — which gave away far too much in cost recovery and allowances for old wells — as a compromise to a potentially much more expensive tax in the initiative? That worked in 2008. In the anti-tax era of 2011, it seems a long shot. Let's have a vote. The gas lobby is hard at work already compiling figures on their economic benefits and states with lower tax burdens. Will they move their operations from the shale to save a few pennies that are passed along to purchases already? They will not.

Matt DeCample, a spokesperson for Gov. Mike Beebe, said the governor had received a copy of the act from Nelson. "The governor has been talking with some legislative leaders and they're looking at some things that might be able to be done within the current law, some changes that might be able to be made. So that's where the governor's focus is right now. Like [Nelson] said in the press conference, it's a marathon not a sprint, so we'll see where everything's at after the session."

Nelson said he'd contribute to the cause, but didn't mention a specific amount he was willing to spend. He said the current tax fluctuates depending from 1 to 5 percent, depending on givebacks on types of wells, and that his proposal would put Arkanas in-line with such major producers as Texas and Oklahoma. He said companies are lined up to drill here and an increase wouldn't discourage activity. He said he's pitched his idea to legislators for the current session as a way to address highway construction needs.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • If Cotton tapped for CIA, then what?

    Times columnist Jay Barth speculates this week on the fallout should Sen. Tom Cotton be appointed as Donald Trump's CIA director (itself only speculation at this point).
    • Oct 19, 2017
  • April Ryan speaks tonight at Philander Smith

    April Ryan,who covers the White House for American Urban Radio, will open this year's edition of Philander Smith College's Bless the Mic Lecture Series at 7 p.m. today at the college.
    • Oct 19, 2017
  • Caution: government at work

    I have several government targets this week.
    • Oct 19, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation