Oil Tax for Higher Ed Initiative

As we have noted many times, it is very hard to get an initiative on the ballot without hiring signature-gathering firms (which will cost $1-$2 million).  And if the initiative gets on the ballot, millions more will be needed for TV ads, etc., if there is opposition.  An oil severance tax to fund higher ed would clearly have such opposition – from the oil industry. 

All that said, there is such an effort underway (as noted in prior posts): …Conceived by UC-Berkeley students, the California Modernization and Economic Development Act places a 9.5 percent tax on oil and gas extracted from California; supporters say it would bring about $2 billion of new revenue per year. Of that, about $1.2 billion would be allocated in four equal parts towards K-12 education, California Community Colleges, California State University and the University of California. Another $400 million or so would be used to provide businesses with subsidies for switching to cleaner, cheaper forms of energy, and about $300 million would go to county governments for infrastructure repair, public works projects, and funding public services…

At least there is a song to go with the effort:
Up Came Oil

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