57% of Pennsylvania’s CPAs Favor a Marcellus Tax – Surprised?

Each year the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) conducts a poll of its membership. Last year PA accounts answered the question “How should PA close the state budget gap?” by indicating the state should privatize liquor sales – 69%, by instituting a Marcellus Shale severance tax – 67%, and by legalizing pot smoking – 27% (see PA Accountants Love Marcellus Severance Tax (and Smoking Pot)). This year’s PICPA poll results have just been published. Perhaps it was our criticism and poking fun at the absurdity of the question last year–but this year the question changed. This is the question they asked this year of PA accountants: “Pennsylvania faces a structural budget deficit estimated at nearly $2 billion. Which of the following should the state use to close the deficit?” The #1 preferred solution for PA’s accountants? A Marcellus Shale severance tax–57% favor it. As we said last year, does anyone else find it suspicious that the people who would have to manage and file reams of tax forms on a severance tax (generating lots of billable hours) are in favor of such a tax? Can anyone say, conflict of interest? Why do we care a wit about what CPAs think about taxes and budget deficits? They’re the ones who helped create it!…

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