Rider Element B: Provide recommendations for increasing the effectiveness of the high-cost natural gas tax rate reduction program.
The high-cost natural gas tax rate reduction program, as mentioned earlier in this report, is established by statute as Tax Code Section 201.057. The structure and a number of specifics regarding the functioning of the rate reduction program are in this section of the Tax Code.
In terms of increased administrative effectiveness, below are two proposals intended for discussion by the Legislature and stakeholders, but not presented as recommendations by the Comptroller of Public Accounts:
As covered earlier in this report, the high-cost natural gas tax rate reduction program is statutorily established in Tax Code Section 201.057 (See Appendix A). The certification as to whether a natural gas well is high-cost, or not, is administered by the Texas Railroad Commission.
As provided by the statute and addressing workload, the program's 10-year time horizon (this is the maximum) for the early and peak years of the wells in the Barnett Shale development have either come to an end (those wells first receiving the tax rate reduction in fiscal 2005, or before) or will be ending in the next two to three years (those wells first receiving the tax rate reduction in fiscal 2006 through 2008). Therefore, and with respect to the Barnett Shale wells previously drilled and any possible new exploration, the administrative workload associated with this program should diminish as the older wells revert to full taxability status and fewer new applications for the high-cost provision are received.
In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 855, which requires state agencies to publish a list of the three most commonly used Web browsers on their websites. The Texas Comptroller’s most commonly used Web browsers are Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari.