Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said last week that the recently enacted increase in the state’s natural gas severance tax should not be diverted to make up a $107 million reduction in the fiscal 2009 general fund budget.

The Legislature met in a three-day special session in early April to increase the severance tax on natural gas from 0.3 cents per 1,000 cubic feet of gas to 5% of the value that production companies receive when they sell the gas.

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