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AB 656 would be disastrous for Californias job market
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Dear Editor:
This letter is in response to the Jan. 11 story: “University Students have mixed opinions on AB 656.” The story focuses on the creation of the California Higher Education Endowment Corporation. However, it fails to recognize the devastating effects a 12.5 percent oil severance tax, the source of the corporation’s funding, would have on California’s economy.
The story claims that California “is the only state in the nation without an oil severance tax.” In reality, between property taxes, corporate income taxes, as well as both sales and use taxes, oil production companies in California already bear a heavy tax burden. The addition of this new tax would cause California to become the most heavily taxed of all the oil-producing states, putting our companies at an extreme competitive disadvantage. It would also cause in-state production of oil to decrease, forcing California to increase its reliance on foreign sources of oil.
This would be disastrous for California’s job market. Studies show that an oil severance tax would result in the loss of almost 10,000 jobs. California’s unemployment rate is already above 12 percent state wide. The legislature should be enacting policies that help create jobs, not reduce them.
Increasing support for higher education is important, but not at the expense of California’s overburdened taxpayers and workforce.
— George Runner (R-Antelope Valley)
California State Senator