PA High Tax Game Plan: Keep Impact Fee, Add Severance Tax To It!

Here’s how tax-devouring Democrats and RINOs in Pennsylvania plan to pass a Marcellus-killing severance tax: Step 1: Keep the impact fee (which is really a tax) in place, which amounts to the revenue that a 2% 3.2% severance tax would raise. Never mind the state’s corporate income tax more than makes up the other 3% of a proposed 5% severance tax. The media, and politicians, intentionally ignore that inconvenient truth. [UPDATE: MDN has it from a highly-placed and trustworthy source that impact fees now being paid by drillers are actually closer to a 3.2% severance tax, not 2% as we previously noted.] Step 2: Introduce a severance tax bill of 3.2% severance tax bill, offered as a “compromise” that lets local communities keep their 60% of the impact fee, but steals money from landowners and drillers (the other 3.2%) to give to teachers’ unions, feeding the beast to keep it at bay (and to pay back a campaign debt). Step 3: After a year or two, when it’s apparent that Harrisburg’s continuing out-of-control spending hasn’t been reigned in and drilling slows down so there’s less tax revenue coming in, just goose the 3.2% tax all the way up to 5% or higher. That’s the plan of Reps. Gene DiGirolamo, R-Bensalem; Tom Murt, R-Hatboro; Harry Readshaw, D-Pittsburgh; and Pam DeLissio, D-Philadelphia as they introduce their “fair and reasonable” 3.2% severance tax bill…

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