* State seeks $522 mln from new oil, gas "environmental
* Rio also set rules for new electricity tax, seeks $61 mln
RIO DE JANEIRO, April 27 Brazil's Rio de Janeiro
state moved ahead with a plan to raise 1.84 billion reais ($522
million) in oil and gas taxes a year to help close a budget
shortfall that has led to school and hospital closures and
delayed salary and pension payments.
A decree governing how the 2.71 real ($0.77) a barrel
"environmental levy", passed by the state legislature late last
year will be collected and used was published on Tuesday in Rio
de Janeiro's Diario Oficial, the state's publication of record.
Rio de Janeiro is responsible for two-thirds of Brazil's oil
output and 40 percent of its natural gas. The tax will add to
the costs of an already high-cost offshore oil industry and
comes at the worst possible time following the slump in oil
prices, Brazil's oil industry association IBP said on Wednesday.
The IBP is challenging the levy in court.
In February, a source involved in talks between the state
and oil industry executives told Reuters Rio de Janeiro planned
to scrap the tax to help protect the local economy.
Since then oil prices have rebounded 38 percent and
unpaid workers and pensioners have won injunctions against the
state government ordering immediate payment of late salaries and
pensions, money that the state says it does not have.
The state also outlined the rules governing a new
environmental levy on electricity generation, transmission and
distribution. The tax essentially directs an environmental levy
currently paid to the federal government to the state
According to the O Globo daily newspaper the state hopes to
get 215 million reais ($61 million) from the electricity tax.
($1 = 3.5260 Brazilian reais)
(Reporting by Jeb Blount and Marta Nogueira; Editing by Andrew