NEWS

Plenty of Money on Both Sides of Oil Severance Tax Fight

Owen Poindexter | April 19, 2011

April 19, 2011 - According to John Howard at Capitol Weekly, Democrat Warren Furutani has introduced a bill (AB 1326) that "would establish a 12.5 percent severance tax on oil and natural gas, and set up an entity called the California Higher Education Fund, which distributes the proceeds to the University of California, the California State University and community colleges. His bill was scheduled to have its first major policy hearing on Wednesday, but Furutani withdrew the bill to make technical changes, his staff said, and a new hearing was scheduled for May 3."

According to the article, "[other] huge oil states – Texas and Alaska, for example – have oil severance taxes. Alaska has a progressive, 25 percent oil severance tax, the largest in the country, and some two-dozen states have severance taxes on oil, gas or both."

A number of well-heeled donors have expressed their opinions on the bill. Two powerful unions, the California Faculty Association and the California Nurses Association, support the bill, while a number of organizations such as the California Independent Oil Marketers Association, the Western States Petroleum Association, the California Taxpayers Association, and the California Chamber of Commerce oppose the bill.

Of the 52 Democrats in the Assembly, 48 received more from supporting groups than opposing groups, from Jan. 1, 2009-Dec. 31, 2010. On the flip side, Assembly Republicans received more from opposing groups than supporting groups in the same period, with the two exceptions being Don Wagner, who received $2,450 in contributions from interest groups supporting the bill and $0 from interest groups opposing the bill, and Brian Jones, who received no contributions from either side. The bill's sponsor, Warren Furutani, has received $61,565 in contributions from interest groups supporting the bill, third most among all Assemblymembers, and no money from interest groups opposing the bill.

As a new tax, the bill will need a two-thirds majority vote to pass, meaning that the measure will need the support of at least two Republicans to clear a vote in front of the full Assembly. The bill is currently in the Higher Education Committee, which, with six Democrats and three Republicans, could adopt the measure on a party-line vote. Committee members are bolded on the list below.

Contributions to California Assemblymembers from Groups Supporting and Opposing AB 1326- Party Breakdown

Party Position Total Average
 Democrat (52)   Support   $ 1,427,923  $ 27,460
   Oppose   $ 136,146  $ 2,618
    
 Republican (27)   Support   $ 23,293  $ 863
   Oppose   $ 274,599  $ 10,170

Contributions to California Assemblymembers from Groups Supporting and Opposing AB 1326.
(Members of The Assembly Higher Education Committee are in bold)

 Democrats


 Support   Oppose  Republicans Support Oppose
Richard Pan  $  93,850  $      -  
Martin Garrick  $   2,000  $   31,173
Das Williams  $  77,113  $ 100
David Valadao  $    -    $   28,800
Warren Furutani  $  61,565  $      -  
Nathan Fletcher  $   2,500  $   22,400
Sandre Swanson  $  58,750  $      -  
Dan Logue  $    -
 $   20,775
John Perez  $  57,950  $ 4,500
Jeff Gorell  $     111  $   16,876
Marty Block  $  54,950  $      -  
Cameron Smyth  $     500  $   16,400
Holly Mitchell  $  45,225  $ 2,500
Curt Hagman  $     500  $   13,400
Michael Allen  $  43,100  $      -  
Jim Silva  $     750  $   12,450
Ricardo Lara  $  40,750  $ 1,500
Jim Nielsen  $   4,050  $   12,000
Tony Mendoza  $  40,500  $ 1,250
Diane Harkey  $    -    $   11,900
Bob Wieckowski  $  40,100  $      -  
Connie Conway  $   4,400  $   10,650
Anthony Portantino  $  38,350  $ 800
Steve Knight  $    -    $     9,500
Fiona Ma  $  37,300  $ 7,900
Jeff Miller  $    -    $     9,250
Luis Alejo  $  36,012  $      -  
Paul Cook  $   3,000  $     8,900
Mary Hayashi  $  35,050  $ 2,500
Bill Berryhill  $   2,000  $     7,000
Bonnie Lowenthal  $  33,403  $ 5,500
Katcho Achadjian  $   -    $     7,000
Betsy Butler  $  30,825  $ 7,800
Shannon Grove  $     125  $     7,000
Joan Buchanan  $  28,000  $      -  
Brian Nestande  $    -
 $     6,750
Mike Eng  $  27,760  $ 1,950
Linda Halderman  $     550  $     4,625
Bob Blumenfield  $  27,195  $      -  
Tim Donnelly  $    -    $     4,000
Steven Bradford  $  26,900  $      -  
Allan Mansoor  $    -    $     3,750
Julia Brownley  $  26,825  $      -  
Kristin Olsen  $    -    $     3,500
Wesley Chesbro  $  24,000  $ 1,750
Kevin Jeffries  $    -    $     3,250
Mariko Yamada  $  23,900  $      -  
Chris Norby   $    - 
 $     1,750
Alyson Huber  $  23,750  $ 2,950
Mike Morrell  $     357  $     1,500
Mike Gatto  $  23,250  $ 1,000
Don Wagner  $   2,450  $   -  
Rich Gordon  $  22,900  $ 300
Brian Jones  $   -    $   -  
Jim Beall  $  21,550  $      -  



Tom Ammiano  $  21,050  $      -  



Bill Monning  $  21,000  $ 700



Nancy Skinner  $  20,650  $ 9,300



Roger Hernandez  $  19,500  $ 1,000



Henry Perea  $  19,200  $ 3,629



Manuel Perez  $  19,100  $ 9,550



Paul Fong  $  18,150  $ 1,000



Norma Torres  $  18,100  $ 1,000



Toni Atkins  $  17,900  $ 1,500



Roger Dickinson  $  16,950  $ 1,650



Ben Hueso  $  16,300  $ 3,542



Jared Huffman  $  15,300  $ 700



Susan Bonilla  $  13,800  $ 6,500



Felipe Fuentes  $  12,800  $22,550




Gilbert Cedillo  $  11,900  $      -  



Nora Campos  $  11,700  $    250



Isadore Hall  $  10,800  $ 7,500



Jerry Hill  $    9,400  $ 1,450



Wilmer Amina Carter  $    8,400  $      -  



Cathleen Galgiani  $    7,900  $ 8,625



Mike Davis  $    6,100  $ 1,000



Mike Feuer  $    5,100  $      -  



Jose Solorio  $    3,500  $ 4,750



Charles Calderon  $    2,500  $ 7,650



Methodology: Includes reported contributions to campaigns of Assemblymembers in office during the 2011-2012 California State Legislature, from interest groups invested in the bill according to MAPLight.org, January 1, 2009 – December 31, 2010. California campaign contributions data source: National Institute on Money in State Politics.

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