Kerrigan Urges Board to Accept State Funding for Humboldt County
From Chris Kerrigan/March 28, 2014, 9:47 a.m.
Eureka CA — Humboldt County’s State Senator Noreen Evans is sponsoring a long overdue bill that would impose a 9.5% severance tax on oil extracted from the lands and waters of California. Out of the top ten oil producing states in the country, California is the only state that does not have a severance tax. This tax will generate revenues of approximately $2 billion dollars per year, half of which would be allocated to CSU, UC, and CA Community Colleges, and the other half to State Parks and Health and Human Services Programs. On March 25th, Supervisor Lovelace asked the Board of Supervisors to submit a letter in support of SB-1017. The rest of the board, however, was unwilling to support the bill, even though the only authoritative study on the matter (prepared for the California State Assembly and published by the Rand Corporation) concluded that this tax would have no measurable impact on the price consumers pay at the pump.
Unfortunately, no other supervisors were willing to support Senator Evans’ bill. It is disappointing that Supervisor Bass joined with the rest of the Board to protect the profits of oil companies rather than boosting the local economy as it is done in other oil-rich states. By paying a fair share of their windfall, oil companies would be contributing to the College of the Redwoods, Humboldt State University, our state parks and county services – all of which are essential to our economic well being.
“It is ironic that at the same time the Board chose to protect oil company profits, they are considering raising taxes on local energy consumption. It seems that oil companies with their record profits, should also pay their fair share of taxes,” said Kerrigan.