Report Says State Could Gain $7.5 Billion from Natural Gas Revenues

JANUARY 4, 2007 - Posted at 4:22 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Reports by nonprofit groups say Arkansas could gain between $4.5 billion and $7.5 billion in revenue over the next 30 years if it changes the way natural gas production is taxed.

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Familes and the Southern Good Faith Fund released two reports focusing on parental revenues from the Fayetteville Shale.

Arkansas Advocates Executive Director Rich Huddleston says the group is not pushing for an increase in the tax during the legislative session that begins Monday.  But Huddleston says the state's current method of taxing natural gas production is out of date.  The group's report says Arkansas' tax is one of the few in the country that taxes volume instead of market price.

The report says current severance tax would generate about $120 million in revenue over 30 years from the Fayetteville Shale production.

The Southern Good Faith Fund proposes using increased revenue from natural gas severance taxes for higher education projects.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)