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SB-241 Oil Severance Tax Law.(2013-2014)

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SB241:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 07, 2013
Amended  IN  Senate  April 24, 2013

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 241


Introduced by Senator Evans
(Principal coauthor: Senator Jackson)
(Coauthors: Senators Beall, Block, DeSaulnier, Hancock, Leno, Liu, and Wolk)

February 12, 2013


An act to add Part 21 (commencing with Section 42001) to Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, relating to taxation, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 241, as amended, Evans. Oil Severance Tax Law.
Existing law imposes various taxes, including taxes on the privilege of engaging in certain activities. The Fee Collection Procedures Law, the violation of which is a crime, provides procedures for the collection of certain fees and surcharges.
This bill would impose an oil and gas severance tax upon any operator, as defined, for the privilege of severing oil or gas from the earth or water in this state for sale, transport, consumption, storage, profit, or use, as provided, at the specified notes rates, calculated as provided. The tax would be administered by the State Board of Equalization and would be collected pursuant to the procedures set forth in the Fee Collection Procedures Law. The bill would require the board to deposit all tax revenues, penalties, and interest collected pursuant to these provisions into the California Higher Education Fund, a continuously appropriated fund created by this bill, for allocation to the Regents of the University of California, the Trustees of the California State University, the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, and the Department of Parks and Recreation, and to a reserve account, as provided.
Because this bill would expand the scope of the Fee Collection Procedures Law, the violation of which is a crime, it would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would include a change in state statute that would result in a taxpayer paying a higher tax within the meaning of Section 3 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution, and thus would require for passage the approval of 2/3 of the membership of each house of the Legislature.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Part 21 (commencing with Section 42001) is added to Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, to read:

PART 21. OIL SEVERANCE TAX LAW

42001.
 This part shall be known and may be cited as the Oil Severance Tax Law.

42002.
 For purposes of this part, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Barrel of oil” means 42 United States gallons of 231 cubic inches per gallon computed at a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
(b) “California Higher Education Fund” or “CHEF” means the fund that is created by Section 42147.
(c) “Gas” means all natural gas, including casing head gas, and all other hydrocarbons not defined as oil in subdivision (f).
(d) “Division” means the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources in the Department of Conservation.
(e) “In this state” means within the exterior limits of the State of California and includes all territory within these limits owned by or ceded to the United States of America. “In this state” includes the mean high tide line to three nautical miles offshore.
(f) “Oil” means petroleum, or other crude oil, condensate, casing head gasoline, or other mineral oil that is mined, produced, or withdrawn from below the surface of the soil or water.
(g) “Operator” means a person that, by virtue of ownership, or under the authority of a lease or any other agreement, has the right to drill, operate, maintain, or control an oil or gas well in the earth or water in this state, including any person that takes oil or gas from the earth or water in this state in any manner, any person that owns, controls, manages, or leases any oil or gas well in the earth or water of this state, and any person that produces or extracts in any manner any oil or gas by taking it from the earth or water in this state; and includes the first person that acquires either the legal title or beneficial title to oil or gas taken from the earth or water in this state by the federal government or a federal instrumentality.
(h) “Political subdivision of the state” includes any local public entity, as defined in Section 900.4 of the Government Code.
(i) “Severed” or “severing” means the extraction or withdrawing from below the surface of the earth or water of any oil or gas, regardless of whether the extraction or withdrawal shall be by natural flow, mechanical flow, forced flow, pumping, or any other means employed to get the oil or gas from below the surface of the earth or water, and shall include the extraction or withdrawal by any means whatsoever of oil or gas upon which the tax has not been paid, from any surface reservoir, natural or artificial, or from a water surface.
(j) Stripper “Stripper well” means a well that has been certified by the division as an oil well incapable of producing an average of more than 10 barrels of oil per day during the entire calendar month or a gas well that is incapable of producing more than 60,000 cubic feet of gas per day. Once a well has been certified as a stripper well, that stripper well shall remain certified as a stripper well until the well produces an average of more than 10 barrels of oil per day during an entire calendar month.
(k) “Unit of gas” means 1,000 cubic feet (mcf) measured at a base pressure of 15.025 pounds per square inch absolute and at a temperature base of 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

42010.
 (a) (1) An oil and gas severance tax is hereby imposed upon any operator for the privilege of severing oil or gas from the earth or water in this state at the rate of 9.5% 9.5 percent of the average price per barrel of California oil or ____% 3.5 percent of the average price per unit of gas, as calculated pursuant to this section.
(2) (A) On or before December 1, 2013, and June 1, 2014, and on or before those dates of each year thereafter, the division shall determine the average price per barrel of California oil for the six-month period ending on the preceding October 31 and April 30, respectively. The price of California oil shall be based on the first purchase price for California Midway-Sunset crude oil as determined by the United States Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) First Purchase Report. In the event the EIA First Purchase Report is delayed or discontinued, the division may base its determination on other sources of first purchase prices of California oil.
(B) On or before December 1, 2013, and June 1, 2014, and on or before those dates of each year thereafter, the division shall determine the average price per unit of gas for the six-month period ending on the preceding October 31 and April 30, respectively. The price of gas shall be based on California’s price for gas as determined by the United States Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Report. In the event the EIA Report is delayed or discontinued, the division may base its determination on other sources of city gate prices of California gas.
(C) The division shall notify the board of its determinations pursuant to subparagraphs (A) and (B), on or before December 1, 2013, and June 1, 2014, and on or before those dates on each year thereafter.
(b) Any person that owns an interest, including a royalty interest, in oil or its value, is liable for the tax until it has been paid to the board.

42012.
 The tax imposed by this part shall be in addition to any other taxes imposed by law, including, without limitation, any ad valorem taxes imposed by the state, or any political subdivision of the state, or any local business license taxes that may be incurred for the privilege of severing oil or gas from the earth or water or doing business in that locality. There shall be no exemption from the payment of an ad valorem tax related to equipment, material, or other property by reason of the payment of the severance tax pursuant to this part.

42013.

(a)The tax imposed by this part shall not be passed through to consumers by way of higher prices for oil, natural gas, gasoline, diesel, or other oil or gas consumable byproducts, such as propane and heating oil. The board shall monitor and, if necessary, investigate any instance where operators or purchasers of the oil or gas have attempted to gouge consumers by using the tax as a pretext to materially raise the price of oil, natural gas, gasoline, diesel, or other oil or gas consumable byproducts, such as propane and heating oil.

(b)The board may prescribe, adopt, and enforce rules and regulations relating to the administration and enforcement of this section.

(c)Any operator that fails to comply with this section shall pay a penalty in an amount specified by the board not to exceed ____ dollars ($____) for each instance the operator violates this section, as defined by the board in the regulatory process.

(d)This section applies when not superseded by federal law.

42014.
 Two or more operators that are owned or controlled directly or indirectly, as defined in Section 25105, by the same interests shall be considered as a single operator for purposes of application of the tax prescribed in this part.

42015.
 (a) There shall be exempted from the imposition of the oil and gas severance tax imposed pursuant to this part, the severance of oil or gas produced by a stripper well when, as determined pursuant to Section 42010, the average price per barrel of California oil is ____ dollars ($____) or less, or when the average price per unit of gas is____ dollars ($____) or less well, unless the well produces more than five barrels per month.
(b) The division shall notify the board of all wells that have been certified as stripper wells.

42016.
 There shall be exempted from the imposition of the tax imposed pursuant to this part all oil, gas, or both oil and gas owned or produced by the state or any political subdivision of the state, including such public entity’s proprietary share of oil or gas produced under any unit, cooperative, or other pooling agreement.

42019.
 Each operator shall prepare and file with the board a return in the form prescribed by the board containing information as the board deems necessary or appropriate for the proper administration of this part. The return shall be filed on or before the last day of the calendar month following the calendar quarter to which it relates, together with a remittance payable to the board for the amount of tax due for that period.

42145.
 (a) The board shall administer and collect the tax imposed by this part pursuant to the Fee Collection Procedures Law (Part 30 (commencing with Section 55001)). For purposes of this part, the references in the Fee Collection Procedures Law to “fee” shall include the tax imposed by this part and references to “feepayer” shall include any person liable for the payment of the tax imposed by this part.
(b) The board may prescribe, adopt, and enforce regulations relating to the administration and enforcement of this part, including, but not limited to, provisions governing collections, reporting, refunds, and appeals.
(c) The board may prescribe, adopt, and enforce emergency regulations relating to the administration and enforcement of this part. Any emergency regulations prescribed, adopted, or enforced pursuant to this section shall be adopted in accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and, for purposes of that chapter, including Section 11349.6 of the Government Code, the adoption of these regulation is an emergency and shall be considered by the Office of Administrative Law as necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, and general welfare.

42147.
 (a) All taxes, interest, penalties, and other amounts collected pursuant to this part, less refunds and costs of administration, shall be deposited first into the General Fund and then into the California Higher Education Fund, which is hereby created in the State Treasury. Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, moneys in the fund are continuously appropriated, without regard to fiscal year, as follows:
(1) Ninety-three Ninety percent of the moneys in the fund, in equal shares, to the Regents of the University of California, the Trustees of the California State University, and the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges for the general support of those institutions.
(2) Seven Five percent of the moneys in the fund to the Department of Parks and Recreation for the maintenance and improvement of state parks.
(3) Five percent of the moneys in the fund to a reserve account in the fund which shall only be used in a disaster as proclaimed by the Governor.
(b) Revenues, less refunds, derived pursuant to Section 42013 for deposit in the California Higher Education Fund pursuant to this section shall be deemed “General Fund revenues,” “General Fund proceeds of taxes,” and “moneys to be applied by the State for the support of school districts and community college districts” for purposes of Section 8 of Article XVI.
(c) Any local property tax reductions that may result from the imposition of the tax by this part shall be reimbursed from the revenues received from the imposition of the tax.

42148.
 Funds allocated pursuant to this part shall supplement, and not supplant, existing funding sources and amounts.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.