The University of Arkansas, in a report commissioned by the gas industry, has more than tripled its projection for the economic benefit of exploration of the Fayetteville shale. Talk Business has details, including a link to the full report. Naturally the gas companies said their investment would drop if Arkansas had a severance tax increase. Naturally that was accepted at face value by the researchers paid by the gas companies. Noted: The severance tax proposed by Gov. Mike Beebe -- 1.5 percent for the first three to four years of a shale well -- is much lower than the no-exemption 5 percent tax hypothetically posed to the producers.
UPDATE: The 11 county judges who represent the counties in the heart of the shale discovery voted today to endorse the severance tax proposal. They know whereof they speak of need for additional road money. Counties would get about 15 percent of the proceeds from the tax. The counties in today's action -- Cleburne, White, Independence, Woodruff, Conway, Faulkner, Jackson, Stone, Van Buren, Yell, Johnson.