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February 17, 2012

Contact: Shannan Velayas
(916) 653-6575

Tax Initiative Enters Circulation

Tax on California Oil and Natural Gas. Revenues to
Higher Education and General Fund. Initiative Statute.

SACRAMENTO - Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced that the proponent of a new initiative may begin collecting petition signatures for his measure.

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponent and to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Attorney General's official title and summary for the measure is as follows:

TAX ON CALIFORNIA OIL AND NATURAL GAS. REVENUES TO HIGHER EDUCATION AND GENERAL FUND. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Imposes 12.5 percent tax on value of oil and natural gas extracted in California. Allocates revenues one-third to higher education (half to California State University, half split between University of California and community colleges) and two-thirds to general fund. Provides new education funds shall augment, not count toward, existing education funding requirements. Dedicates 10 percent of new education funds to student grants. Requires California State University to use portion of funding for nursing programs. Prohibits passing tax on to consumers through higher fuel prices. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state revenues of about $3 billion per year initially, with two-thirds (about $2 billion) going to the state General Fund and one-third (about $1 billion) allocated to specific higher education purposes. Of the General Fund revenue increase, roughly half would likely go to higher funding for schools and community college districts, with the remainder available for any state purpose. (11-0096)

The Secretary of State's tracking number for this measure is 1572 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 11-0096.

The proponent for this measure, John L. Burton, must collect signatures of 504,760 registered voters – the number equal to five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election – in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponent has 150 days to circulate petitions for this measure, meaning the signatures must be collected by July 16, 2012.

The initiative proponent can be reached at (916) 476-4989.

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