Ploy to Rename PA Severance Tax as “Gross Receipts” Tax

tax revenueDemocrats just love to help themselves to OPM–other people’s money. They have a spending habit the equivalent of a crack junkie. Ever notice how junkies use very creative ways to try and feed the habit? One of their favorite tactics is to euphemize–call the same thing by a different name. In Pennsylvania, big-spending Dems in the legislature, along with their big-spending governor, Tom Wolf, are at it again. A severance tax is a tax on natural gas as it comes out of the ground–“at the wellhead.” You measure what comes out and you tax it. Another way to tax the same thing is called a “gross receipts tax”–which taxes the value the gas was sold for. In essence, a gross receipts tax is a sales tax. The price of the underlying good being sold goes up–so does the tax (it’s a percentage of the sales price). At the end of the day, a tax is a tax is a tax. You can call it a severance tax, or you can call it a gross receipts tax–it’s the same thing: a tax. Because Dems have short-term memory issues, we’ll remind the Dems reading this that Marcellus gas is ALREADY TAXED–by two different taxes: an impact fee and corporate income tax (on profits). PA is already paying the equivalent of a very healthy severance (or gross receipts) tax. But all the Dems can see are big dollar signs–that a gross receipts tax could raise $500 million per year or more–to feed their enormous big spending habit…

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