Editorial/Opinion: ‘Fracking’ — Not Severance Tax — Is The Path To California Prosperity

Last year California voters approved two tax increases aimed at bringing billions more dollars into state coffers. But that hasn’t stopped revenue-hungry lawmakers in the Legislature from seeking further tax hikes. It’s almost as if they think we can tax ourselves into prosperity.

A recent example of this type of confused thinking is the oil severance tax. Like a bad penny, this tired old idea keeps turning up at the Capitol year after year, despite being rejected by voters in 2006.

A severance tax is simply a fancy name for taxing something when it comes out of the ground – in this case, oil. Proponents of the tax argue that California is giving oil companies a free ride. In her release announcing Senate Bill 241, Sen. Noreen Evans claims, falsely, that “California is the largest – and only – oil-producing state in the nation that does not tax its vast oil resources. “

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