Monday, August 06, 2007

Tax 'em!

One of my favorite topics is back on the public agenda, so get ready for another blistering mindless harangue. It has recently come to light that oil company trucks have been doing considerable damage to county roads getting in and out of land being drilled as part of the Fayetteville Shale play. The drillers have apparently expressed a willingness to compensate for the destruction to local roads. That is a nice gesture, and we are all really impressed.

Governor Beebe has expressed support for a temporary increase in our minimal severance tax. It’s a good sentiment, but why all the tiptoeing around special interests? Gas producers will make lots of money in the Fayetteville Shale, and they pay very high severance taxes in other states. Oil is a non-renewable natural resource which should be considered the property of all the people.

When a private interest is allowed to exploit that valuable heritage, they should pay top dollar. Why is Arkansas so timid about being treated like a real state that provides necessary services? We have stepped up to the plate on education and medical care and Arkansas is entitled to respect, and revenue. I don’t know if this tax requires one of those super-majorities in the next legislative session, but it ought to be quickly passed.

(Broadcast August 6, 2007)

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