Roby Brock's Talk Business blog is reporting that Governor Beebe has called a special session on the gas severance tax:
BEEBE CALLS SPECIAL SESSION FOR SEVERANCE TAX
At a mid-morning press conference, Governor Mike Beebe announced plans to call a special session to raise Arkansas' severance tax on natural gas. Beebe says that he wants to start the session on March 31st.
The Governor has stated previously and publicly that he would not call for an extraordinary session until he was certain that he had the necessary three-fourths majority vote from both legislative chambers to approve a tax hike. Raising the severance tax will require the approval of 27 State Senators and 75 State Representatives.
Beebe has proposed a 5% severance tax rate tied to the market value of natural gas with limited exemptions for certain types of drilling. Gas industry representatives have signed onto the agreement. The estimated tens of millions in new tax revenues would be largely dedicated to road improvements at the state and local level.
For more information, visit www.talkbusiness.net.