“It's not the first time we have passed this piece, but we thought it was important as we prepare to go to Austin,” said Charles Hill, chairman for the Tyler Chamber's Area Development Council. The council oversees the Governmental Affairs Committee, which passed the resolution before bringing it to the board members.
A group of Tyler Chamber members is preparing to travel to Austin Feb. 24 to 26 as part of East Texas Coalition Day in Austin.
The High-Cost Gas Incentive was initially introduced by the 71st Legislature in 1989. Under the current incentive, gas from wells defined as high-cost gas wells under Section 107 of the old Federal Natural Gas Policy Act (NGPA) is eligible for a severance tax reduction, according to the Texas Railroad Commission website, www.rrc.state.tx. us. The level of reduction is based on drilling and completion costs.
The resolution passed unanimously Tuesday states that natural gas production is key to the state's economy and jobs and the development of natural gas in Texas' Haynesville, Eagle Ford and Barnett shales account for much of the state's natural gas production.
“The high-cost gas investment tax credit reaps one of the best returns on investment of any state economic incentive, generating $4 of economic growth for every dollar invested, and supports more than 700,000 Texas jobs,” it states.
In 2012, more than 60 percent of contributions to the Rainy Day Fund came from natural gas taxes, high-cost gas accounted for 54 percent of overall statewide gas production and more than half of all Texas counties — 136 of 254 — have high-cost gas wells.
Production boost local property tax receipts each year, providing funding for schools, hospitals and first responders,” according to the resolution.
“Increasing taxes on natural gas would hurt the Texas economy by discouraging investment in natural gas operations, sending Texas jobs to other states like Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas, and costing Texans tens of thousands of Texas jobs and billions in economic output over the next decade,” the resolution states.
Recently updated application forms for the tax incentive have been accepted since Nov. 1, 2012, according to the Texas Comptroller Susan Combs website, at www.window.state.tx.us.