CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Senate President Jeff Kessler says saving some of the additional tax money generated through the natural gas boom for the future is the “right thing to do.”
Later this summer, Kessler will lead a delegation of state Senate and state House members to North Dakota to see, first hand, how that state’s legacy fund has worked.
Oil and gas tax revenues go into the North Dakota Legacy Fund which was created in 2011 and now stands at more than $1 billion.
Kessler has proposed the creation of a similar West Virginia Future Fund for several years now at the State House and pointed to states like North Dakota, Alaska and Wyoming as examples of how it would work.
His proposal would set a baseline for severance tax collections and then take between 20 percent and 25 percent of any amount over that baseline, in the coming years, and automatically bank that money for an endowment that could not be tapped into for at least 20 years.
Kessler said he understands there are plenty of ways to spend additional oil and gas tax money from the development of drilling in the Marcellus shale right now.
“You can have short term needs, but there’s long term goals. I think we need to do both and you can,” said Kessler.
No dates have yet been scheduled for the North Dakota trip for lawmakers.
Kessler was a guest on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline” which is broadcasting from The Greenbrier Resort this week for the 2013 Greenbrier Classic.