Higher Natural Gas Tax?

August 15, 2003  - Posted at 7:45 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  --Natural-gas company officials say charging them more for removing the fuel from the ground would hurt an already languishing industry. That's the message several officials had for legislators yesterday.

The Legislature's Joint Committee on Economic and Tax Policy is reviewing options to raise money for court-ordered education improvements. Yesterday the panel looked at severance taxes -- fees charged for removing minerals and gas from the ground. Arkansas' tax on natural gas is three-tenths of one cent per one-thousand cubic feet of gas taken from a well.

A report last month by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation of Little Rock says Arkansas has the lowest gas severance tax rate in the nation.

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