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Congress Proposes Mega Tax to Oil Companies

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As the average price for a gallon of gas tips over $4 across the country (in Los Angeles, the average is about $4.46 for regular), the Senate will vote today on a "windfall tax" that would snag some of the top oil company's profits at the tune of $17 billion -- in other words, the tax breaks they would expect in the next ten years. $36 billion was earned by the top five oil companies during the first quarter of this year.

Democrats, who proposed the big-five oil tax, face Republican filibustering on the Senate floor and the need for 60 votes to proceed with the legislation. Oil companies, pointing to a 1980 "windfall tax," obviously warned that such a tax could decrease domestic oil production, therefore increase imports, thus even higher gas prices.

In California, the tax applied to a gallon of gas is more than any other state. "State and federal excise taxes add up to 37.8 cents per gallon in the Golden State, but additional state, county and local sales taxes bring the grand total to 63.9 cents of taxes per gallon in California," explains LA Times Bottleneck blogger, Steve Hymon. "The U.S. average is 47 cents per gallon."

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Photo by ccdg via Flickr