Traitorous PA Senate Republicans Pass Severance Tax Bill

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Senate voted 26-24 to pass a so-called compromise budget bill that adopts a Marcellus-killing severance tax. What’s most distressing about the situation is the betrayal of Senators like Gene Yaw, of northeastern PA. The bill not only raises taxes on drillers, slapping a severance tax on top of the existing impact fee, it also slaps a 5.7% gross receipt tax (GRT, or “usage tax”) on natural gas used by homes and businesses, meaning PA gas bills will go up starting August 1st (if the bill passes the House). What happens next? The bill has gone to the PA House for consideration. The pressure on the House, and Speaker Mike Turzai, is intense. The Senate has done a big disservice to the House by not getting agreement ahead of time. But we deal with the cards in our hand. What’s going to happen now?…

Note: The original introduction to this story (paragraph above) has been revised to omit incorrect information. A previous version incorrectly claimed that natural gas-powered electric plants would be subject to the 5.7% gross receipts tax in the proposed Senate bill. A few days after publication, when the error was pointed out by readers, MDN prominently corrected it. However, one PA Senator objected to the correction disclaimer as not strong enough. Therefore we have revised the intro to omit the incorrect information altogether. As we previously stated (and still maintain): Our error over the issue of a GRT on power plants does not lessen the betrayal by the PA Republican senators who voted for the severance tax.

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