A tax on oil extraction is one proposed solution to California's current school funding crisis. But each time an oil severance tax plan comes up, it get's shot down. Why? WIll this year's initiative petition drive be any different? Take a look at the checkered history of oil tax proposals in California since 1980!
Created by KQED on May 12, 2011
Last updated: 07/13/11 at 01:04 PM
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(Image: Assemblyman Warren Furutani) -What: Assembly Bill -Specifics: 12.5% tax on oil extraction with revenue going towards higher education. The bill would also create the California Higher Education Endowment Corporation (CHEEC) to which the revenue from this tax would be funneled. CHEEC would distribute the money between the Community Colleges, the CSU, and the UC. -For it: Sponsored by Assemblyman Warren Furutani, Democrat of Long Beach -Outcome: The bill is currently under consideration in the Revenue and Taxation Committee. However, it's been placed "in suspense" meaning that it's effectively dead for the year. -Click here for more info -Image courtesy of Warren Furutani
(Image: From Initiative's Sponsor's Website) -What: Initiative State Statute -Specifics: This initiative would impose a 15% tax on the value of each barrel of oil pumped from the ground. Revenue raised would be spent on education, with 30% going to K-12; 48% going to the Community Colleges; and 11% each to CSU and the UC. -For it: The petition process for the initiative is being spearheaded by Peter Mathews , a political science professor from Cypress College and Congressional candidate -Against it: the Koch brothers have voiced opposition -Click here for more info -Image courtesy of Rescue Education California
-What: Call from the Governor -Specifics: 9.9% tax on every barrel of oil pumped in California. Revenue raised would have gone towards closing the (then) $11.2 billion deficit. -For it: Schwarzenegger and Legislature Democrats -Against it: Legislature GOP, Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, ConocoPhillips, and other oil companies -Outcome: Killed in the Assembly -Click here for more info -Image courtesy of Getty Images
-What: Initiative Constitutional Amendment -Specifics: This initiative would have imposed a 6% tax on oil extraction, with revenue going towards green energy research -For it: Sponsored by Californians for Clean Alternative Energy, with much of the funding coming from film-producer Steve Bing. $62 million was spent in support. -Against it: The No on 87 Campaign was funded primarily by Chevron and AERA Energy. $94 million was spent in opposition. The California Budget Project also noted that this initiative was a prime example of ballot box budgeting. -Outcome: Defeated 54-45% -Click here for more info -Image courtesy of Matt Leonard
-What: Initiative State Statute -Specifics: Among a raft of other tax increases, 167 would have imposed a 3% tax on the value of oil extracted by all companies producing more than 1.2 million gallons a month. -For it: Sponsored by Lenny Goldberg, founder of the California Tax Reform Association -Against it: Chambers of Commerce across the state, various other businesses, etc. -Outcome: Defeated 58-41% -Click here and here for more info -Image courtesy of Jose Carlos Norte
-What: Assembly Bill -Specifics: This bill would have replaced the then recently passed (since repealed) "snack tax" on bottled water, snack foods, newspapers, and magazines with a 9% tax on oil pumped from the ground. -For it: Sponsored by Assemblyman Jack O'Connell, Democrat of Carpinteria -Against it: Gov. Pete Wilson, Assembly Replublicans, oil companies -Outcome: Defeated 6-2 in the Assembly Revenue on Taxation Committee -Click here for more info -Image courtesy of Diana Beideman
-What: Assembly Bill -Specifics: This bill would have imposed a 6% tax on oil extraction, while at the same time giving $210 million worth of tax breaks to Californians through various adjustments to the income tax code. -For it: Sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Bates, Democrat of Oakland (current mayor of Berkeley) -Against it: Oil Companies, Republicans, Gov. Deukmejian -Outcome: Dropped from consideration after Gov. Deukmejian expressed opposition -Click here for more info -Image courtesy of Getty Images
-What: Assembly Bill -Specifics: 1.5% tax on oil extracting, gradually increasing to 5.5% by 1985. This bill also would have created a state estate tax. -For it: Sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Roos, Democrat of Los Angeles -Outcome: Dropped from consideration when Assembly Democrats got cold feet -Click here for more info -Photo courtesy of Marcel Marchon
-What: Initiative State Statute -Specifics: 10% tax on the income of "energy-related" businesses in California. The funds from this tax would have been invested in public transit (specifically bus and rail), and in research for alternative fuels. -For it: the (first) Brown Administration -Against it: Standard oil and other smaller oil companies in CA. Milton Friedman, who at the time was working at Stanford's Hoover Institute, was particularly vocal -Outcome: Defeated 55-44 percent -Click here for more info -Photo courtesy of Alan Light