Wednesday, May 01 2013 04:10 PM

Scrivner speaks against state oil tax proposal

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    By Photo courtesy of County of Kern

    Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivner testified before the Senate Finance and Governance Committee Wednesday in opposition to 9.5 percent severance tax on oil.

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Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivner testified Wednesday against a state Senate bill that would impose a 9.5 percent tax on oil production and divide the proceeds between California higher education and state parks.

Scrivner's comments before the Senate Finance and Governance Committee mirror the oil industry's position on similar proposals over the years. He said such a tax would kill jobs, chase away investment and reduce property tax and other government revenues.

Speaking on behalf of the county Board of Supervisors, which last month voted to oppose the measure, SB 241, Scrivner testified that it would cost the county 7,000 oil field jobs and cut into the $20 million per year in tax revenues local governments collect from sales of petroleum equipment.

"It is an economic knockout aimed straight at our county, and we believe there are much more fair and wise ways to fund state programs," he said in a prepared statement.

The bill nonetheless passed the committee Wednesday by a 4-2 vote.

It was not clear where the bill is heading next.

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