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Introduced Version Senate Concurrent Resolution 52 History

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SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 52

(By Senators Kessler (Mr. President), Unger, Plymale, Klempa and Foster)

 

 

 

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to study the need for proposing legislation promoting a shared prosperity from the development and recovery of natural gas reserves in underground shales and other geologic formations and establishing a Future Generations’ Fund for the benefit of the general public welfare.

    Whereas, West Virginia is blessed by an abundance of mineral resources, particularly coal, natural gas and oil. However, history has shown that while the state’s mineral resources are a viable source of wealth, the value and benefits of this wealth diminishes with the depletion of these nonrenewable resources to the detriment of present and future generations of West Virginians and their communities; and

    Whereas, The state’s general revenues are often insufficient or unavailable to preserve or develop the state’s infrastructure without an increase in the tax burden upon the citizens of West Virginia; and

    Whereas, As a result of technological advances in the development, drilling, recovery and transmission of the state’s natural gas reserves, particularly in underground shale and other geologic formations, the state is presented with a prodigious opportunity to contemporaneously provide for the future well-being of the citizens of West Virginia; and

    Whereas, The Legislature finds it desirable to promote a shared prosperity for the citizens of the state from its natural shale gas reserves by: Creating job opportunities for resident West Virginians underwritten, in part, by tax incentives for employers hiring local workers; increasing the Homestead Tax Exemption for resident West Virginians; reducing the real property tax of resident West Virginians; and establishing a “Future Generations’ Fund” for the benefit of the citizens of West Virginia well into the future all to be funded by an enhanced severance tax on the extraction, development and transportation of the state’s natural shale gas reserves while insuring a continuation of current tax revenue rates for counties, municipalities and education; therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Legislature hereby requests the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to study the need for proposing legislation promoting a shared prosperity from the development and recovery of natural gas reserves in underground shales and other geologic formations and establishing a Future Generations’ Fund for the benefit of the general public welfare; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study the need for and the benefits of creating job opportunities for local workers, increasing the Homestead Tax Exemption, reducing the real property tax of West Virginians, establishing a Future Generations’ Fund and review the existing severance tax structure and burdens in order to maximize the development, drilling, recovery and transmission of natural gas in underground shale and other geologic formations with said fund for future generations of West Virginians and for the benefit of the general public welfare; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2013, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate any recommendations; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.

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