FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 22, 2017
AUSTIN, Texas-- Today, State Senator Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) filed Senate Joint Resolution 41, to reduce the rate of the oil and gas production tax.
The Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF) was created in November 1998 by the passage of a constitutional amendment. Crude oil and natural gas production taxes contribute more than 85 percent of its revenue, and the ESF's huge balance today is due primarily to extraordinary growth in oil and gas tax collections during the recent boom. SJR 41 would reduce the rate of severance taxes and suspend transfers into the ESF when the balance exceeds $5 billion.
"The Comptroller predicts the balance of the Rainy Day Fund will total nearly $11 billion by the end of this fiscal year. Oil and gas are the sole industries that contribute to the Fund, and in recent years the legislature has not chosen to utilize those funds for their intended purpose - economic stabilization," said Seliger. "Now is the time to stop sticking money under a mattress and to cut taxes on business, and in so doing, create more jobs and stimulate the economy."