PA Towns to Gov Wolf: Don’t Kill the Impact Fee with Your New Tax

Yesterday Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (Democrat) proposed what amounts to a 7.5% severance tax on Marcellus and Utica Shale drilling in the state (see our lead story today). Wolf’s severance tax is being erroneously reported as a 5% severance tax PLUS 4.7 cents per thousand cubic feet of natural gas produced at the wellhead. When you work it out, it’s actually about 7.5%, NOT 5% as Wolf misleadingly implies. Coupled with PA’s high corporate income tax rate, the proposal, if passed, would put PA at the top of the list of states taxing the oil and gas industry, essentially killing future Marcellus Shale drilling in the state (not an idle threat). Some of those most opposed to this hare-brained plan are the townships where drilling actually happens–they stand to loose big-time because the impact fee money they get now will be traded away for a few table scraps. The impact fee will be converted into the severance tax–and given away to Philadelphia…

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