Re "Fairness demands oil tax" (Letters, Jan. 30): The letter proposed a new oil severance tax since most oil-producing states have such a tax. What the writer fails to state is that California, unlike many other oil-producing states, has an ad valorem county tax, which is based on reserves in the ground and not oil produced. As a result, a barrel of oil produced in California is already taxed at high rates.
Adding an oil severance tax would tax a barrel of California oil higher than the nine largest oil-producing states, costing 10,000 jobs, according to one study. Such a tax will lead to higher energy prices and more reliance on foreign imports and will force many independent producers out of business. That's why several oil severance tax bills (and Proposition 87 in 2006) have received little support from both parties and Californians.
-- Jim Lynn, Carmichael